Crimes of the Future

Director: David Cronenberg
Year Released: 2022
Rating: 2.5

In what's hopefully several millennia from now, humans have undergone significant changes and physical pain and infections have been eradicated, which opens the door for "performance artist" Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) to "grow" new organs in his body while his partner, trauma surgeon Caprice (Léa Seydoux), "removes" them - this bit of theatre has caught the attention of both the government and a strange man named Lang Dotrice (Scott Speedman), whose son was recently smothered by his own mother.  For the director, this is a long-awaited return to "old themes" from past work - body modification, physical suffering, unorthodox sexual appetites ("surgery is the new sex") - combined with an awareness of more modern artists, like Stelarc (he had a third ear attached to his arm) and Wim Delvoye (who has tattooed pigs), except for all the wild ideas presented - along with references to his own movies (specifically Crash and eXistenZ) - don't seem to "come together" into a cohesive whole (the last act is a desperate attempt to fuse them, but it doesn't gel). Cronenberg, approaching 80 years of age, still has a sharp mind, but there's something fatalistic and a little sad about this project, as if he's aware medical science hasn't gotten itself to the point where he can be kept around indefinitely - it feels like a memento mori project he created just for himself.  It's been rumored that one of the actresses involved (cough ... KStew) was frustrated because she couldn't understand what it means ... take it from me, babe: just blame it on the new flesh.