Critic Reviews



Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Director Roger Donaldson has a lot of fun with his premise. The top-notch special effects, which use a lot of seamless computer animation, make the climax look very nice. The rest of the film is essentially one long chase sequence with a couple of nude scenes and maulings added to liven up the proceedings. No matter what genre you identify Species as, it's not top of the line, but there's also quite a bit of room beneath it.
Despite the ridiculous premise and casting this is still a pacey little sci-thriller.
I can imagine a film in which a creature like Sil struggles with her dual nature, and tries to find self-knowledge. Like Frankenstein's monster, she would be an object of pity. But that would be way too subtle for Species, which just adds a slick front end to the basic horror vocabulary of things jumping out from behind stuff.
If Species sounds ridiculous, it is -- though as ridiculous science fiction films go, this one has its moments. As usual, these moments come early.
The direction by Roger Donaldson is facile and understated, as is, for the most part, the script by Dennis Feldman. Even the actors pitch in to play down the silliness of it all.
A shameless Alien rip-off (it even uses a similar typeface in its ads), it makes no sense whatsoever. But don't hold the movie's utter unoriginality and brainlessness against it. A few laughs, a few popcorn-jolting scares—what more do you want on a hot summer night?
Alien meets Basic Instinct in this textbook illustration of what happens when millions of dollars' worth of technical expertise is brought to bear on a cheap, exploitative script.
The director, Roger Donaldson, best known for the Kevin Costner thriller No Way Out, keeps the film moving. But there is only so much suspense he can generate from this stock story and familiar-looking special effects. Species may work best for viewers who don't like to be too scared by horror movies; it's reassuringly familiar.
Director Roger Donaldson may have started out aiming for intentional thrills, but ends up with unintentional comedy as his characters do and say the darndest things.
Time Out
Like some state-of-the-art remake of Lifeforce, this is every bit as bad as Tobe Hooper's film, but nothing like as enjoyable. Worst is the transition in the final scenes from snatched glimpses of a woman in a rubber suit to some oddly alienating motion-control effects. Floating like the ghosting on a poorly tuned TV, these are far too clean and artificial to be believable or remotely scary. Deserves extinction.

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