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‘Crimes of the Future’ Isn’t Nearly as Gross or Sexy as It Thinks It Is

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It’s a famous pitfall of bad science-fiction that its characters can spend the first three chapters, or first forty minutes, setting out the various ways in which the world depicted differs from our current world. “Krangoldsen: The Overlords of Zurgatsk bid you step inside the Optimiser 3000 in order to receive your daily dose of vitamins intravenously,” a broad caricature of such fare might go. David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, premiering in Cannes, is not bad science-fiction, exactly, but it is rather on the talky side for a film that had been advertised as being a return to shocks for the master of body horror.

Crimes of the Future, set in a dystopia where humans have done away with the concept of physical pain, and some people are able to grow independent internal organs, does have a fair bit of body…well, horror is not quite the word somehow, as all of the guts and flesh stuff is presented far too matter-of-factly to disturb or squick out. Somehow, in a film which shows a live operation on a character played as a kind of sordid art performance, or a character essentially fellating somebody’s wound, or someone killing their child, the shocks do not seem to register. That could be because of the constant chatter about this new world order, which sees every single aspect of this universe explained to us in sledgehammer terms; and it could be, too, because Cronenberg seems uninterested in pushing the disorder much further into the realm of discomfort. For........

© The Daily Beast

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