The unreliable narrator approach. Where you aren’t sure if what you’re watching is “real” or not, whether or not it’s actually happening within the reality of the movie or if the narrator character is just hallucinating—or if you, the viewer, are. Lynch can get away with that. Cronenberg to an extent. When anybody else does it, it tends to get on my nerves, and there’s plenty of it in MEN to not enjoy. Fortunately there’s lots of Body Horror to serve as counterbalance.
The acting is impeccable and the film is beautifully filmed, but it suffers from the “all style, no substance” flaw. There *is* substance, though; what’s lacking is story. The movie is all metaphor, all allegory, to its detriment. Story is sacrificed for the sake of symbolism. I give mad props to writer/director Alex Garland for being a true creator and visionary. His earlier films ANNIHILATION and EX MACHINA both flirted with the obscure and sublime, but with MEN he kinda overdoes it. Still, it’s well worth seeing for the visuals and the performances (Rory Kinnear as the Frankenstein Monster was my favorite character on PENNY DREADFUL, and MEN allows him a tour-de-force, a wide canvas upon which to display his imposing talents) even if it could’ve been brought a little more sharply into focus.