BBC2: PREMIERE Sunday 15 November, 9.00pm
Narcissistic billionaire Robert Pattinson rides across Manhattan in a stretch limo. He wants a haircut in his old neighbourhood. Anarchists on the street want to destroy cyber-capitalism. Inside the pristine limo, he meets a variety of flunkies and compliant women, some of whom refer to themselves in the first person, as does he.
David Cronenberg’s icily assured film of Don DeLillo’s prescient 2003 Wall Street satire is like The Social Network’s soulless cousin. Is this politically charged fable an antiseptic epilogue to Videodrome’s wild howl of outrage or a dead-end addendum to Crash? Whichever, it could use more of the spectral rat stuff.
And there’s not enough Paul Giamatti, either. The wild-eyed character actor loved working with Cronenberg but concedes that Cosmopolis is challenging: “That movie is brutal. It’s totally nuts.” In fact, it’s quite typically latter-day Cronenberg, who moved on from gore-soaked satirical splatters like Shivers and Rabid in the 70s to become a trenchant observer of 21st century foibles. The splatter’s more detached now.