When she reaches the end of her lifespan, a scientist rushes to Mexico, in order to save the half-breed alien seductress he raised as his docile niece, but soon awakens the deadly, sexual predator inside her.
In 1993, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Project receives a transmission detailing an alien DNA structure, along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. The result is Sil, a sensual but deadly creature who can change from a beautiful woman to an armour-plated killing machine in the blink of an eye. Government agent Xavier Fitch assembles a team of scientists and mercenaries to locate and destroy Sil before she manages to find a mate and breed.Written by
Alexander Lum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.
***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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