Naked Lunch was the only Cronenberg I've watched before seeing this, and although I can't say that I liked it even a tiny bit; I admired the flashes of creativity I've seen throughout its 115-min run-time of an achingly phlegmatic pacing and self-indulgence. Therefore, I was optimistic that this renowned indie director's bizarre style could work for me someday. This day may has come, or maybe it's just this movie. Either way, all I can say is that I was definitely right!
First off, Chris Walas's standout, Oscar-winning makeup effects are just superbly sick! The last transformation is case in point, and I really haven't seen anything more impressive than those effects, aside from the equally brilliant practical effects that were used in Carpenter's The Thing.
What's even more awe-inspiring is how well-developed every single character in this movie is. They are constantly developing throughout the film's three acts. And each act adds more layers into them in a most graceful and reasonable way.
I want to confess that I have never considered Jeff Goldblum as an excellent actor. I always see him as one of the most charismatic actors, who play the same character in every film he's in, and I'm totally fine with that. That's because his quirky distinctive style of acting almost always pays off terrifically, so much so that his character steals the show every time. That said, the different phases his character go through in this movie prove that Goldblum's appeal isn't the only thing he has. For my surprise, Jeff Goldblum turned out to be a really talented actor who can flesh-out his character, figuratively and literally, masterfully.
Geena Davis is quite good as Veronica Quaife, whose character arc and the development of her romantic affair with the protagonist near the end reminded me of Belle in Beauty and the Beast a little bit. I think Stathis Borans is an insufferably cartoonish character during the first act. John Getz is not blame at all, as I think he really did a good job. Fortunately, Stathis is also a pretty strongly-developed character that changed a great deal at the third act, and hence became more credible.
I was overwhelmed by different feelings of pity, fear, disgust, and so many others, in the course of the movie's 96-min run-time. However, I think the denouement lacks intensity, since I found the ending predictable, and I saw it coming a bit early.
Other than the issues I've mentioned above, this movie really impressed me with all its creativity and originality. Cronenberg is truly a visionary filmmaker, and I hope I enjoy the rest of his filmography.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking