The “eat the rich / fuck the rich” sub-genre may soon overtake the “old filmmaker looks nostalgically back on their childhood and the magic of the movies” sub-genre that still keeps on coming. This latest asshole-one-percenters/ugly-westerners satire comes from Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral, Possessor). Alexander Skarsgård and Cleopatra Coleman star as a frustrated writer and his wealthy wife on vacation at a fictional resort in a nation with some highly unusual laws and ways of enforcing justice. Since this is a Cronenberg picture, the punishments, or rather the ways these rich tourists can evade legal consequences, involve a mix of the human body and disturbing technology.
Unfortunately, Cronenberg Jr. is less interested in the specifics of how we fleshy machines interact with technology than his dad. This is especially true with a picture in which the primary fantastical convention we must accept in order to enjoy the film is so absurd and illogical that attempting to explore its inner workings would just make it seem more ridiculous.
Maybe that lack of creepy body-horror detail wouldn't matter were any of the characters in Infinity Pool at all interesting. But Skarsgård's lame everyman is far too passive and pathetic to care about. And Mia Goth’s supposed temptress just isn’t all that tempting. All others who populate this picture I've already forgotten. Cronenberg does put some images on screen that I’ve not seen before, but to what end? They serve no narrative or thematic function that I can see - they just seem there for pure shock value.
A frustrated writer and his wealthy wife vacation in a nation with highly unusual laws and ways of enforcing justice in Brandon Cronenberg's subpar blend of body horror, sci-fi, and "eat-the-rich" social satire.