11 ago. 2010

My Review: Splice (3/10)

¨Science's Newest Miracle ... Is A Mistake¨

I really wanted to like this movie more than what I did because it began with such promise and the concept was very interesting, but as the film developed it just got predictable and the ending could be seen coming miles away. I was disappointed at how this sci-fi film became so predictable after the first half. At first it seems to be a film paying tribute to ¨The Bride of Frankenstein¨ with a very similar premise, but more believable now considering the modern scientific advancements in genetics to create a clone combining animal and human DNA. Even the main characters names, Colin and Elsa, were chosen to honor the actors who played Dr. Frankenstein (Colin Clive) and the bride (Elsa Lanchester). I wasn`t too happy about Splice and can`t compare it to that classic because it just doesn`t resolve the way an original sci-fi film should. Splice seemed to take all the modern day conventions of movies near the end and lose all its originality in the process. Director Vincenzo Natali, mostly known for his 1997 film Cube, has an interesting idea but can`t find a decent way to resolve the movie. He wrote the screenplay along with Antoinette Terry Bryant and Doug Taylor and at first they focused on the ethical dilemma of cloning this being, the psychological elements of parenthood and family, but later focused more on Colin and Elsa then on their creation itself. I really hated the ending and the movie felt so long even though it only lasts an hour and forty minutes. I was disappointed with Splice.

Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) works as a scientist in N.E.R.D., a corporation that specializes in genetic research, along with his partner Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley). They work in a genetic lab where they splice several animal genes in order to create a protein that can be sold in the market. The experiment goes well so Clive and Elsa want to further their research, but the leaders at NERD want them to stick to this experiment and sell the protein because they can`t have any more expenses. Elsa ignores her bosses and along with Clive continue to experiment on several animal genes. They add a human gene as well in order to speed up the process and the result is a new living organism that develops at an amazing rate. At first Clive wants to destroy the creature, but Elsa protects it and convinces him to let it grow since it will die soon anyway because of the speed with which it develops. The creature takes the shape of a little girl mixed with some animal parts, and Elsa treats her as a kid more than an actual experiment and even names her Dren (Nerd spelled backwards). As she grows, Elsa and Clive have to take her to a barn where they keep her locked out from the world. Dren (Delphine Chaneac) has human needs, such as need for affection, love and being cared for, but at the same time she has some violent reactions and she gets harder to control. Clive and Elsa will soon discover that it wasn`t right for them to mess with mother nature.

There are some interesting elements that Vicenzo plays along with here, such is the case with how life changes with parenting. First Dren finds love and nurturing from her mother, but as she grows older she becomes more fond of her father, but the film decides to abandon these psychological and moral issues and tries to have a more Hollywood friendly ending. Don`t go into Splice expecting a Horror film, because it doesn`t have any scares, the central theme of the film is this sci-fi and psychological study. Delphine Chaneac does a decent job playing this creature, but the rest of the cast I wasn`t too excited about. Adrien Brody is far from his Pianist days and Sarah Polley was very weak as well. Splice had tremendous potential, but it really lost my interest and it is not a film I would want to watch ever again. I can see how many critics enjoyed this film because it pays tribute to some classic Lynch (Eraserhead), Polanski (Rosemary`s Baby) and Cronenberg (The Fly) films. The film actually focused more on Elsa, then on Dren and I think we all wished it developed Dren`s character a little more instead of Elsa. Anyways this is a film I won`t be recommending or ever watching again for that matter despite the decent reviews it has been given from the critics.

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