Crimes Of The Future is a 2022 sci-fi drama written and directed by David Cronenberg. Set in a distant future, humans struggle with their changing bodies as multiple factions disagree on what is natural when it comes to evolution. The movie is so insane that it almost makes sense. The Crimes Of The Future cast has Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart, to name a few. The film is bizarre and doesn’t have great reviews, but you can give it a watch if you are a Cronenberg fan. Here’s the plot and ending of Crimes Of The Future explained; spoilers ahead.
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Where To Watch?
To find where to stream any movie or series based on your country, use This Is Barry’s Where To Watch.
Oh, and if this article doesn’t answer all of your questions, drop me a comment or an FB chat message, and I’ll get you the answer. You can find other film explanations using the search option on top of the site.
Here are links to the key aspects of the movie:
Crimes Of The Future: What is it about? (Plot Summary)
The movie is set in a distant dystopian future where evolution in a few humans makes them capable of digesting plastic. While a tiny group believes this is natural and makes perfect sense considering the synthetic waste humans produce, the authorities regard this as unnatural.
Honestly, I think the human race would never get so lucky that they can begin consuming the very thing they are polluting the planet with. But hey, fantasy, right? That said, what is very believable is that the majority of humans would find this course of evolution unnatural only because – ‘majority wins’.
Crimes Of The Future: What happened to the world?
It is only logical to assume that the story takes place thousands of years in the future. For human bodies to adapt and change, it’s going to take that kind of time. The story is set after the collapse of human civilization as we know it and its re-emergence. The technology we see in the film feels alien because it is so far into the future.
Over time, humans have lost the ability to feel pain. While this feels like a good thing, pain is a warning system in our bodies; without that, gigantic medical conditions would never get diagnosed. It also appears that, along with pain, humans might have lost the ability to feel pleasure, and that’s taken recreational sex out of the picture.
Infections have disappeared, so people don’t get sick. This also means that open wounds don’t get contaminated, and people heal much quicker. This has led to humans cutting each other for pleasure. As the movie states, “surgery is the new sex”.
Crimes Of The Future: Plot Explained
Who are Saul Tenser and Caprice?
Saul is actually an undercover agent working with Detective Cope. The authorities feel strongly that people growing an internal organ and then passing down that organ genetically will lead to a race that can no longer be categorized as humans. They want to ensure the pro-mutation folks and their freak mutations are kept in check.
Saul’s body creates new organs, and his partner, Caprice, an ex-surgeon, cuts out these new organs as part of a live underground performance. The two of them are considered artists. Saul literally offers a piece of himself to his audience.
Caprice is unaware that Saul is an undercover agent. That said, the two appear to genuinely like each other.
Like most, Caprice can’t feel pain, but Saul can to an extent.
Who is the lady, and why does she kill the boy?
Djuna Dotrice is the mother of a boy called Brecken, who has the ability to consume plastic and other synthetic materials. Djuna believes her son is a freak of nature and kills him. After that, she confesses her crime and is arrested.
Who is Lang?
Lang is Brecken’s father and is the leader of a small group of people who have altered their digestive systems to allow them to consume plastic. Now, it’s important to note that all of these people working with Lang have had some natural evolution in their digestive tracts that allows for their alteration. Meaning, they would have all grown some organs that enable breaking down plastic. Then with surgery, they attain a digestive system that can fully process synthetic materials.
What is the purple candy bar?
The candy bar is synthetic. It’s plastic food that Lang’s group manufactures for their consumption. The candy is lethal to a regular [unevolved] person consuming it.
Who are Wippet and Timlin?
Wippet and Timlin are employees of a new department called the National Organ Registry, which aims to tattoo all new organs and track them so that humanity doesn’t go off track (on-track is status quo, which does not like evolution that goes outside a set definition). The registration process is inspired by Saul, who keeps a systematized record of every internal organ he has generated.
Timlin is also an undercover agent and works for the agency to cover up the fact that people are drastically changing and that some kids are born with new organs.
Timlin is extremely attracted to Saul and also seems to prefer the old sex. This means that she is still able to feel pleasure in the way humans once did. She kisses Saul, and he reacts by saying he’s not good at the old sex.
What does Brecken’s autopsy reveal?
Lang strongly believes that his surgical procedure to enable him to consume plastic has somehow become a genetic trait passed on to his son. And this is why Brecken could eat plastic.
However, upon opening up Brecken’s body, it is revealed that several of the organs have been tattooed, and the boy has had extensive surgery. And that Brecken is not the case of natural evolution but surgical transformation.
It is later revealed that Timlin is the one who operated on Brecken, rewiring his new organs to form a unique digestive system. That said, Brecken naturally had all the new organs that enabled him to digest synthetic materials. The authorities wanted to keep this information about Brecken’s evolution a secret; it was far too unnatural or inhuman for them.
Why was Timlin asked to operate on Brecken?
The authorities got word that Lang wants to publicly perform an autopsy on his dead son to show the world that human evolution is resulting in the growth of new organs to consume plastic. The authorities don’t want people to see that Brecken has naturally developed a series of digestive organs. Timlin operates on Brecken and tattoos his insides to make it look like Brecken could only digest plastic because he was surgically altered and wasn’t because of natural evolution.
What happened to the Inner Beauty Pageant?
Wippet announces that he is the registrar for the Inner Beauty Pagent, an illegal competition where people will be awarded under insane categories like Best Original Organ With No Known Function. This crazy concept seems to be introduced in the film only to show us how bizarre the world has become. We don’t get to know anything more about it, though.
Who are the two women – Berst and Dani?
These two women are undercover agents, too, working for the authorities that want to keep a lid on the whole human evolution and plastic-eating thing.
They show up at Saul’s place under the guise of smitten technicians working on his bed and chair. Later we’re shown that they kill Dr Nasatir and then Lang. The duo appears to be taking out key pro-neo-organ people. Saul is not a target because he claims to be an artist who considers his new organs to be tumours. But after that ending, we can assume that Saul will have to watch out for this dynamic duo.
Who is Dr Nasatir? Why is he killed?
Dr Nasatir is involved in the whole Inner Beauty Pagent thing. An event that is all about acceptance, acknowledgement, and aesthetic empowerment – fancy words to say, “being okay with the growth of new organs and letting evolution take its path”.
But this is against what the authorities want, so they send Berst and Dani to kill Dr Nasatir. I’d imagine Wippet is on the kill list too.
Crimes Of The Future: Why did they kill Lang?
Lang’s ideologies are against the authorities’ definition of being human. He is a growing threat and is best eliminated, so Berst and Dani are sent to kill him.
Lang is the leader of a group that believes that humans are naturally evolving to be able to consume plastic. He wants to use his son’s body to prove this. While the numbers are not large, Lang has connected with plastic-eating groups worldwide. Left unchecked, this could escalate, making it difficult for the authorities to enforce their definition of human.
Though they kill Lang, as Saul mentions, it will make him a martyr, and this will only make the synthetic-consuming group grow stronger. Looks like Saul might take forward what Lang was hoping to do.
Crimes Of The Future Ending Explained: Does Saul Tenser die?
The ending of the movie Crimes Of The Future reveals that Saul Tenser, too, can digest the synthetic bar indicating that his biological evolution has enabled him to digest plastic.
How do we know this for sure? Because the chair stops moving.
Let’s take a step back and understand what the chair was doing. The chair was designed to help adjust every part of one’s body to make chewing, swallowing and digesting easy. Not everyone went through this difficulty. The chair was doing what it was doing because the person was attempting to eat food that the majority ate. For people like Saul, regular food was hard to consume; hence he needed that chair.
The chair continues to move when Dr Nasatir is killed and left in it. Its programming continues to move Dr Nasatir, not realizing he is dead. This makes sense because the chair calculates that Dr Nasatir’s internal state is unwell.
When Saul eats the synthetic bar, the char stops moving. Its programming ascertains that no further adjustments are required for Saul, and that is because, for once, his digestive system is working perfectly. The chair does not need to provide any assistance. Saul’s digestive tract has evolved to consume plastic.
Considering what Saul said earlier, “If you’re going to be good at living undercover, a part of you has to believe”. In the end, that look on Saul’s face seems to say he’s more than just a part-believer. The ending feels like he’s going to lead the resistance – the movement to normalize eating plastic.
And that’s that. I warned you the movie was bizarre. What were your thoughts on the plot and ending of Crimes Of The Future? Drop a comment!
Barry is a technologist who helps start-ups build successful products. His love for movies and production has led him to write his well-received film explanation and analysis articles to help everyone appreciate the films better. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time.
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