Troy Patterson
October 19, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

eXistenZ

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
04/23/99
performer
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Christopher Eccleston, Ian Holm, Sarah Polley
director
David Cronenberg
author
David Cronenberg
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Mystery and Thriller, Drama

We gave it a B+

Less a virtual-reality thriller than a riff on the riddle of ”reality” itself, David Cronenberg’s latest is typically icky and unusually witty. Leigh is a VR-game designer with a price on her head, and Law is a corporate dork she takes on as a bodyguard/playmate. The director’s obsession with tracing the labyrinths of consciousness comes at the expense of character development, but the psychological depths Cronenberg reaches are tingling to fathom.

Reel Goodies Willem Dafoe turns up, sleek and freaky, as a grease monkey named Gas. The Last Detail Here, Cronenberg is working from his own original material for the first time since 1983’s ”Videodrome.”

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