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(Review originally written at 7 March 2007)

After his earlier movie "Videodrome", which definitely shows similarities to this movie, director David Cronenberg again ventures himself in the world of virtual reality, in which truth and fiction mix. It's virtual reality taken to a whole other level.

"eXistenZ" is an highly original movie that is well directed and acted out but above all very well written. The movie features a fascination and well thought out concept, which gets greatly executed by director David Cronenberg.

"eXistenZ" is a movie that knows to constantly fool you. Just when you thought you figured things out, another surprise awaits around the corner. Things are never like how you think they are, especially when the line between truth and fiction gets explored. You just never really know what is the reality and what is the game-world, right till the ending. It makes the characters and events all very unpredictable and also provides the movie with a great ending that will leave you thinking even more.

The movie has a perfect kind of game-play storytelling, mostly with its character appearances and its puzzling events. They have to complete a certain step or task first before they can continue in the world and find out what their purpose in the game is.

The movie knows how to create a perfect balance between realism and surrealism, without ever going over-the-top with either one. The storytelling keeps the movie as simple as possible, though of course the movie isn't always that simple to follow because of its events, dialogs and unusual environments.

The movie is not only just weird though. I was actually surprised to see that "Videodrome" has an higher rating on here, thought it's a far more inaccessible and 'odd' movie. The movie is also still made entertaining and has a good fast pace. It doesn't ever allow the movie to get stuck in its more philosophical moments and deeper meanings. It also makes this movie perfectly watchable for people who normally don't watch this sort of movies.

The movie is good looking, with subtle effective special effects a great visual look, that also provides the movie with a certain required 'gaming' feeling.

The movie is well cast, with Jude Law in a role you don't too often see him in, that of a shy insecure person. It once more shows how actually versatile Law as an actor is and that he is way more than just another pretty face from Hollywood. Jennifer Jason Leigh also was a great female lead. She hasn't really played ever that many big parts in big productions but with this movie she shows why she nevertheless always have been regarded as a big movie star. The movie also features some other well known actors, in much smaller roles, such as Ian Holm and Willem Dafoe.

An highly original movie that is well worth watching, especially if you have seen "Videodrome" previously.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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