Archive for the ‘Splice’ Category

Splice – review

Splice – viewed 6/14/2010

PhotobucketSci-Fi aliens are nothing new to the big screen, but “Splice” avoids most of the cliches to come out as a decently fresh addition to this played out genre, and it really has Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley to thank for that. 

The two are gene splicing scientists that are on the verge of synthesizing a protein that will cure a whole bunch of stuff. The protein is derived from an organism that they have created, splicing the DNA from various animals. The film begins with them presenting this data to the head of the major company that is funding their project. What they really want to present though is the idea of taking their technique and knowledge to the next level by splicing human DNA into the organism. This according to them would basically allow them to cure every disease on the face of the earth, but it would take a number of years to complete. The idea is shot down though, because the company needs to start bringing money in ASAP, so they are ordered to stick with synthesizing the original protein. They however do not listen to advice and go on with their own experiment, in which the create a completely new lifeform, and before they know it they are in over their heads.

Polley and Brody’s characters have this really great dynamic. They are partners in the lab, and partners at home as we learn they have been together for quite a number of years. There is great chemistry between them, and they are great actors, really showcasing it in the film. Without them, I really think the film would have fell flat on its face.

The film works almost to perfection for about the first 3/4. They are monitoring this new lifeform as it begins to grow, evolve and adapt to its new surroundings. Polley takes on this motherly nurture role as Brody attempts to keep his composure as a scientist, understanding that this is a creature of science they created, not a human being that needs love. This is really the heart of the film, the push and pull between Polley and Brody.

The film is extremely intense, and relies on us being on edge whenever we see the creature, but what is interesting is that the creature never really harms anyone, stalks anyone, kills anyone. It is only adapting, and attempting to understand its surroundings. The suspense is really just built up from what we THINK is going to happen.

The film begins to fall apart near the end as it seems to abandon all the techniques it used previously in the film that made it so great. It becomes just another horror film, relying on old tricks. There are a couple of side plots thrown in the mix that don’t seem to make sense, and this kind of strange, sadistic detour occurs that completely changes the entire dynamic of the film, and I felt it really hurt it.

The film wraps up nicely with a nice ending, and overall I think it really is a sort of fresh take for a played out genre. I don’t know if I’d be willing to drop your hard earned cash in the theater on it, but in a summer as weak as this one has been, it may actually be your best bet.

Grade: B-