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Species
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Species More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Cliche science fiction with confused messages

2/10
Author: Alan One (jeffo@infomagic.com) from Flagstaff, AZ
18 October 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Species follows a team of scientists and killers in their attempt to capture a home-grown alien. Most of the time the alien, called Sil, looks identical to a regular human woman (well, okay, a regular supermodel), making her a difficult target to locate. The team is concerned that Sil is out to breed, and they're main goal is to stop her before she does.

One of the members of the team, Dan (Forest Whitaker), is an empath who "feels things deeply." He provides intuitive commentary on what Sil is up to and why. His presence creates the impression that there is more to this alien than breeding and destroying humans, and that there is more to this movie than finding the alien and blowing her away. But, as we find out when the credits start rolling, the alien really has been only interested in breeding and destroying humans, and the movie was really only about finding the alien and blowing her away. A movie doesn't have to be about more than that, but it shouldn't pretend to be something it's not.

I guess the biggest conceit of this movie is that someone who looks like Natasha Henstridge could wander around L.A. for a week without finding someone to have sex with. She eventually hooks up with one of the team members (Alfred Molina), pushing credulity even further: so, the team has been looking for a beautiful woman who supposedly acts like a nymphomaniac because she needs to breed, and some stranger shows up in my hotel room and starts removing her clothing. Am I the only one who hears alarms going off at this point?

Species also contains what must be the grand-daddy of all science fiction cliches: the overnight transformation of a child alien into an adult alien. This trait is so advantageous (especially to the plots of poorly-written science fiction movies), you wonder why humans didn't develop it eons ago.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Deadly Dull And Cliched

4/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
28 July 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***** CONTAINS SPOILERS ******

SPECIES is an extremely dumb and derivative SF horror film . Not only that it`s extremely predictable The plot is this : human egg is mixed with alien DNA which leads to the creation of an alien girl ,alien girl escapes and a bunch of spook types have to hunt her down because the future of humanity is at stake . Think of a medley megamix of A FOR ANDROMEDA , FRANKENSTEIN , THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT , LIFEFORCE , THE X FILES and a climax that rips off ALIEN and you`ve got the idea. Or should that be several other folks ideas ?

Most of the actors try to do their best with their sketchily written characters , well apart from Michael Madsen who may very well be doing his best , but the more films I see him in the more obvious it becomes that Madsen lacks any range , and he plays a government hitman in SPECIES , oh gee hope I didn`t spoil anything for you there. Without doubt the best performance is by Michelle Williams who plays the young Sil and who manages to communicate the fear and suffering the hunted alien must be going through , such a pity she turns into a bimbo non actress .

The one really bad thing about this film - with the exception of the dialogue - is the CGI , it really is bad in some places like the tendrils coming out of the young Sil`s face , and it never ever rises above being mediocre at best .

Still despite its many flaws SPECIES is an absolute masterwork compared to the sequel

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not all that bad!

7/10
Author: Freddy Jenkins from United States
13 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I really liked how they got the female as the main villain of this film. I also really enjoyed most of the acting. The only person that had no point in being in this film was the worst actor ever, Forest Whitaker! He had absolutely no point in this film! He should of got killed I think because otherwise his character had no meaning at all being in this film! There's this one scene he says, "She walked over there!" Then I said, "No duh you stupid idiot!" My god I don't know how he ever got in the acting business because he is the dullest and worst actor I have ever seen in my life! I hope to never see him in a film ever again because he really destroyed the film for me. I liked everybody else though because they all were very believable scientific characters. It's a 7 out of 10 due to all the violence that happened all because a female alien just wants to have kids.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Failed to reach its vast potential, but worth one viewing...

5/10
Author: dysamoria from Coplay, PA, Corporate States of America
4 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie's trailer left me rather curious. After seeing the film, I noticed some of the contents of the trailer never made it to the film's final cut. A shame. They were some of the interesting plot elements that went missing. The actors are a great line-up and do great work. The plot is a very interesting concept and the first time I'd ever seen it.

The failure was in taking that concept, one that should have been wonderfully psychological, and turning it into an action movie that tries to follow up on the likes of Aliens.

**SPOILER ALERT FOR CONTENT BELOW THESE LINES**

The back-story, the scientists' experiments and Sil's quick maturity into her adult form are all interesting and thrilling, though rushed and not given nearly enough development time. Sil's dream sequences were one of the places this film shined. They were stylish and very revealing into the psychology of this tortured and instinctively driven main character/antagonist/creature. It is too bad that the film's creators chose to pursue their own blind instincts and rush into the action genre. Instead of resolving character conflicts (Ben Kingsley's character clearly expresses remorse for his role in abusing Sil, leading to her escape, yet there is zero development of the relationship between them - and it ends rather abusively to the characters) or even allowing Sil to "grow-up" psychologically (despite actually meeting the only nice guy in LA) the film-makers turned to a cliche of "hunt down and kill the monster" with a lame "it's not dead yet" ending (the rat - how lame).

Overall, a massive disappointment to those of us that were looking forward to a thrilling science fiction movie with intelligent undertones. Though I hear the guts and blood action movie lovers were thrilled...

Has Species II attempted to take more of a psychological approach? Doubt it, though there appeared to be actual character interaction between Sil II and the woman scientist in a brief glimpse on the Sci-Fi Channel... maybe I'll give it a shot some day...

If you liked Natasha Henstridge and would like to see her in a more active role, clothed, try "The Whole Nine Yards." Charming and funny.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Stupid fun

4/10
Author: AKS-6 from Sweden
1 November 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[Contains a SPOILER!]

Let's face it right now: this film is the most stupid film I have ever seen! Well, maybe not... but it comes very close. I mean, the story... Silly, silly, silly. Natasha Henstridge's acting... Scary. Special/visual effects... Laughable, especially in the birth scene at the end and the scenes following that. But I have to say even though "Species" is a stupid film it is also entertaining, dumb but fun, you know? And then there's Forest Whitaker... One of my fave actors. Always nice to see him in a film. (4/10)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good actors turn this cheesy science fiction horror film into a fun ride.

8/10
Author: Aaron1375
10 December 2009

This film has a rather low score here, but I thought it was a rather good science fiction/horror movie that also has good action and comedy too. Scientist have created a new form of life based on some strange signals received from outer space. Though at the beginning of movie they are trying to kill this life as I do believe they have figured out that his new life is a threat to the human race. They get a group of scientist, a psychic and a guy who takes care of things a great character played very well by Michael Madsen. He really added something to this movie and I really enjoyed his character. Natasha also is very good in this movie as the very sexy and sultry alien who is out to find herself a mate. The story is somewhat cheesy, but it is still fun thanks to the good actors in this movie who include besides Madsen and Natasha Forest Whitaker, Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina. The alien is a bit different too, as it is not a seemingly bad creature, only doing what her instincts direct her to do. She is not a kill first creature though bad things will happen if she is allowed to mate and bring about more of her species. There are also some very memorable scenes in this one, the most memorable being the one involving the guy with asthma and that wonderful kiss he shares with Natasha. A lot better movie to me than a lot of horror movies here that get a lot higher scores than they deserve, I think this one deserves higher, but I would never want to watch the sequels as they did not look good at all from the previews I saw.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Introducing Natasha

7/10
Author: movieman_kev from United States
9 May 2005

As a young girl, Sil (Michelle Williams, who of course would get nude herself in the horror chick flicks, "If These Walls Could Talk 2" and "Me Without you"), a human/alien hybrid, escapes her government captivity. In a matter of days, she turns into Natasha Henstridge who yearns to mate. Micheal Madsen is among the crew assembled to find and kill her. Both Forest Whitaker and Ben "Gandhi" Kingsley are pretty much wasted, but Madsen does alright and Natasha getting nude copious amount of times make this a fun, if brain dead little sci-fi flick. Nothing ground-breaking here, just enjoyable b-movie popcorn fare.

My Grade: B-

DVD Extras: Commentary by Director Roger Donaldson, Micheal Madsen, and Natasha Henstridge; Second commentary by Donaldson, Frank Mancuso Jr, Richard Edlund, and Steve Johnson; Sneak peek at Species 3; Theatrical Trailer; red-band trailer for "the Howling"; trailer for "Jeepers Creepers 2"; one for "Earthsea" (a scifi channel mini-series); and a few montage trailers

Eye Candy: Marg Helgenberger gets topless; Natasha Henstridge shows it all.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Interesting idea, weak story

5/10
Author: ro-24 from Norway
4 September 2000

Watched this movie on video, and I found it entertaining. 5 years after its release, the genetic engineering is even more scary as humanity has now (year 2000) discovered properties of the DNA that makes the movie more believable in the beginning. The monster's resemblance to the monsters in the "Alien" movies is striking, although more human in design (Giger).

The storyline is weak, but it still is an entertaining movie. I don't think this movie appeals to the viewers intellect. It is a cross-breed (as is the monster in the movie) and draws on elements from Sci-Fi, splatter-movies, thrillers and soft porn movies.

The special effects are not as impressive anymore, and is where the movie shows its age. Although the end is almost a pure "Alien" rip-off, it fails to provide the suspence of the "Alien" movie. The cliffhanger-rat at the end is a little funny, but contributes to the impression of a weak script with intellectually cheap solutions.

All in all an entertaining, almost-no-brainer movie based on a very interesting idea.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sexy science fiction. Volunteers to be a victim?

7/10
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
13 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Roger Donaldson directs this sexy slice of science fiction for MGM. In the early 1990's a Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Project gets an answer from millions of millions mile away. If not disturbing, but eye opening, information details to scientists how to take alien DNA and splice it with human DNA. A creature(Natasha Henstridge)is formed and given the name Sil. This armor-plated creature, quick as a whisper, turns into a sensual vision of womanhood with one thing on her mind...reproduce. Sil manages to escape her containment and Xavier Fitch(Ben Kingsley), her primary creator, demands she be found and destroyed before she has the chance to breed.

Violence and strong sexuality are mixed with sci-fi sequences that sustains attention. Henstridge is making her acting debut and surrounded by an apt cast featuring: Michael Madsen, Marg Helgenberger, Forest Whitaker and Alfred Molina. And briefly, the young Sil is played by Michelle Williams.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Wiping out the "galactic weed"

Author: Wuchak from Ohio/PA border
5 November 2015

Released in 1995, "Species" chronicles events after SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) receives a transmission from outer space detailing alien DNA structure, along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. This gives birth to Sil, a girl (Michele Williams) who escapes and rapidly grows into a statuesque blond obsessed with mating (Natasha Henstridge). Government agent Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) assembles a team to locate and destroy Sil before she finds a mate and breeds. The team includes a tough mercenary (Michael Madsen), an anthropologist (Alfred Molina), a molecular biologist (Marg Helgenberger) and an empath (Forest Whitaker).

I saw "Species" years ago and, for some reason, developed an eye-rolling attitude toward it; maybe it was due to Roger Ebert's negative review, I don't know. In any case, I'm glad I gave it a fresh viewing because this is a top-of-the-line sci-fi/adventure/horror flick. People look down on it because of the nudity and mild sex scenes, which prompts them to disdain it as exploitive and trashy. While Natasha Henstridge is a good-lookin' woman, she doesn't do anything for me (I prefer shorter, rounder women) so I was able to totally overlook this element and focus on the film's other attributes.

For one, the score by Christopher Young is excellent. Secondly, the A-list cast is a highlight and their characters are increasingly fleshed-out in the story. Lastly, while people understandably write-off the movie as a Grade B plot with Grade A production, there's more here than meets the eye. For instance, Sil is the innocent pawn of the extraterrestrials who sent the DNA (more on this below). Another example is the excellent character of Dan (Whitaker) whom whiners complain about as "always pointing out the obvious" when the movie shows over and over that he DOES know things the others don't and they ignore him to their own peril. Dan is necessary so that the team knows what direction the creature takes on repeated occasions; without Dan we'd see them pursue one boring dead-end after another.

While snobby film critics love to hate "Species" it's a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi adventure with an interesting moral and a great cast of characters. If you like films like "Alien," "Aliens," "Terminator," "Terminator 2" and "Predator" you'll probably appreciate it. It may not be as good as "Aliens," "Terminator" and "Terminator 2," but it's on par with "Alien" (and marginally better IMHO) and superior to "Predator." Then again, it depends on what you want in a sci-fi blockbuster. As far as I'm concerned, "Species" delivers the goods.

The film runs 108 minutes and was shot in the areas of Los Angeles and Brigham City, Utah.

GRADE: A-

***SPOILER ALERT*** (Don't read further unless you've seen the movie)

The theory is postulated by the mercenary and biologist that the alien DNA was sent as a biological weapon, a "weed killer" from outer space to wipe out the galactic weed of earth or, more accurately, the human race that inhabits it. It's a fascinating concept and the film compellingly realizes it.

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