A game designer on the run from assassins must play her latest virtual reality creation with a marketing trainee to determine if the game has been damaged.
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There is a reason why Hollywood movies are such a financial success. It is because they are made by private companies who give the audience what it wants. If the government were to make a movie, you would get a boring instructional tutorial on correct behavior or, some experimental “art” installation, on film, which would have to rely solely on pier pressure, to be able to generate any audience, at all. We have seen films like this produced by such losers as Werner Fassbinder, over in Germany, financed by the German government (ie. The German tax payer) and other, even less talented directors, such as David Cronenberg, whose films are all backed by the Canadian government's Telefilm Canada.
Cronenberg has been desperately trying to gain notoriety, as a film maker, since the 1970s, in such shocking movies as Shivers and Rabid, where he relied on provocative brutality and nudity to lure audiences. Unfortunately, Cronenberg doesn't even measure up to the level of a Wes Craven, who seems like a Beethoven of the motion picture arts scene, by comparison . The only thing that has been able to keep Cronenberg alive at all, is the Canadian tax payer.
The film eXistenZ is a let-down right from it's dreary beginning, in a mediocre school house meeting of computer game testers. The design of the game pod console tells you, you are watching another Cronenberg flop; “abandon all hope, ye who enter here!” The props are absolutely revolting and boring, at the same time, because they are lacking in any sort of imagination, whatsoever. One of the reasons one goes to see a science fiction movie, is the curiosity about future technology. This avenue of pleasure is killed off, right from the get-go!
If this film were directed by Paul Verhoven, it might have been able to be compared to an episode of Night Gallery or The Twilight Zone, it's theme or concept and plot are that limited. Even the actors, some of whom only make short appearances (probably as a favour to somebody), seem to know and are trying to rescue this sinking ship, with some fine performances, which don't offset the many reasons for avoiding this time-waster.