Exciting stars Jennifer Jason Leigh (DOLORES CLAIBORNE), Jude Law (GATTACA), and Willem Dafoe (SPEED 2, AFFLICTION) challenge the boundaries of reality in this futuristic, critically acclaimed adventure thriller! During th... more »e first closed-door demonstration of an amazing new virtual reality game called eXistenZ, the system's brilliant designer, Allegra Geller (Leigh), is violently attacked by a crazed assassin intent on killing her and destroying her creation! Forced to flee into hiding, Allegra enlists a young assistant (Law) to help her in testing the damaged system ... by convincing him to join her inside eXistenZ! The action then explodes as their world's real-life dangers begin to merge with the fantasy of the game! If you're ready to play, it's now your turn to plug into this powerfully entertaining hit!« less
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/15/2013...
In order to fully understand this film you first need to see Videodrome. This film is an effective sci-fi/thriller.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
S A A. (Learned2Heal) Reviewed on 12/15/2012...
What a waste of 97 minutes! Awkward movie with a very (!) weak plot and with good actors in a no-win situation. This movie tries way too hard to be prophetic and ironic at the same time and fails sensationally on both counts. When I watch a movie, I know I'm watching a good one, when the actors are natural and the storyline draws me in. When I see the actors as just actors, looking for their marks, reciting their lines and generally just not getting into the moment, I know that the movie is total crap. And it is. Such is the case with eXistenZ. The creators came up with a very lame and almost non-existent plot-line, tacked on "surprise" ending of massively rigid proportions, a lot of gory-looking vivisections of poor mutated creatures into the middle, much aimless coming and going by all the characters with lots of insipid "fill" dialog, a few good sexy shots of Jennifer Jason Leigh in unnaturally rigid profile positions that probably made her calves bind up, and Jude Law doing some routine wide-eyed who me scenes that only made one wonder how innocent this guy really could be...?
My husband says gaming people are probably the ones who like this movie. But, seriously, I can't see how anyone with a majority of intact brain cells could possibly find this remotely entertaining, never mind riveting...
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Another brilliant Cronenberg film
SPM | Eugene, Oregon | 01/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although eXistenZ came out around the same time as The Matrix, it seems to be a response to that film. Where The Matrix gave you a digital divide between reality and virtual reality, eXistenZ takes place in the gray area between.But it's not a PK Dick rehash. Cronenberg spends as much time on the characters and their motives as he does on pseudo-intellectual questions of reality. (The film is also a humorous spoof of computer-game devotees.) Although there are a lot of scenes that lay flat --- instead of moving the plot forward --- the actors are so good, everything is easy to watch. Willem Dafoe is charming and scary as Gas, and Jude Law plays a pitch-perfect resourceful sidekick to Jennifer Jason Leigh. (You also have to hand it to Cronenberg for making the central character female without making her a damsel in distress or an masculine action heroine.)This is a low-key but excellent movie. It's the kind of film you can enjoy over and over, picking up new bits of detail every time. It's not for everyone, of course. Cronenberg can repel some viewers with gooey special effects and psychological drama. But I think it's one of his best films, and certainly one of the best in 1999."
Cronenberg's Best Yet
Josh Swanson | Grand Rapids, MI USA | 06/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I truly feel sorry for anyone who was turned away from this movie by Ambrose's review (Although I doubt any intellegent human being would be). Maybe using spell check for your review and actually paying attention to the movie might make your review a little more credible. Anyway, "eXistenZ" is in my opinion Cronenberg's best film to date. This film is NOT for the typical movie watcher. For The life of me I can't figure out why everyone likes to see movies where you can just sit passively for an hour and a half and not think or learn anything. Just throw in Will Smith, some action, comedy, state of the art CG, and a little brief nudity and the general public will eat it up. "eXistenZ" is definitely not one of these movies. It really does "Make The Matrix Look Like Child's Play!" In fact, it blows all 3 Matrix's right out of the water. For anyone who liked "Videodrome" or "Naked Lunch" this film is not just a must see but a must own. My personal Favorite."
Wait a minute is this a game? or is this reality?
Stalwart Kreinblaster | Xanadu | 01/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Your perception may be altered by this science fiction harbinger of things to come by David Cronenberg.. Continuing in the same vein of films like 'Videodrome' and 'Scanners' Cronenberg examines the effects of scientific progress and the fate of mankind.. It is so often the goal of game technicians, movie makers, and perhaps even the distributors of mind altering substances to create an alternate universe.. the nightmare of such endeavors is that it will lead to absolute confusion.. seperation from self.. it is something appealing yet terrifying.. to lose touch with reality.. this is what makes eXistenZ such an engaging thriller - one of the most thought provoking movies you will ever see."
Brilliant and challenging
Wayne A. | Belfast, Northern Ireland | 02/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cronenberg probably conjures the best depiction of "virtual reality" and its potential psychological effect on people in this often incredible film. This is a tough and frequently unpleasant movie (what Cronenberg film isn't), relentless even (much like a video game!), but as social/technological criticism it has legs galore. I find myself studying the art direction, acting, and script to see how he tweaks and disorients so subtly all through the entire film. It is meticulously crafted. The "bad acting" noted by the other reviewers is a depiction of social disorientation, detachment, sociopathology, and near-autism in a nightmarish future society where people can no longer distinguish between illusion and reality (and, as you learn from the film, neither can the audience). The final moment of the film boldly makes that point.
My personal feeling is that this is Cronenberg's greatest achievement. However, it is high art and those that go into it with conventional film expectations will be (clearly ARE) disappointed. One for future film historians to write about, unable to comprehend how it sat on the fringes of acceptance for years. The negative reviews of this film deeply disturb me."