Two young rebellious scientists are told by their employers to halt groundbreaking work that has seen them produce new creatures with medical benefits by splicing together multiple organisms' DNA. They decide to secretly continue their work, but this time splicing in human DNA.Written by
Interesting, if not totally successful, sci-fi about scientists (Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley) who are working with cloning but decide to take it a step further and add human DNA. This creates some sort of human that the two raise like a child hoping to learn about it but soon things start to spin out of control. This film was marketed as some sort of horror movie like ALIEN but it's pretty far from that. Instead, it's probably best to compare the film to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY as this here is a thinking movie. I'm certainly not trying to say this is anywhere near the masterpiece of the Kubrick film, as it isn't, but I think a lot of people are seeing the trailer and leaving disappointed that this isn't a blood and guts horror flick. The movie raises a lot of interesting ideas about cloning, human relations and eventually lines that can get crossed whenever you do push the previous limits of right and wrong. This is very much a psychological movie as both scientists, who also just happen to be living together, have their own issues and it's these issues that will eventually test their own limits as this creature begins to take form and grow into an "adult". The film asks a lot of questions but I think part of the problem is that a few of the characters just do too many dumb things. The female scientist bothered me from the start until the end as I found she was simply way too dumb in how naive and silly she would act. The scene where the two pretty much break the law to create this thing was handled as if we were watching a couple high school kids trying to steal some of their dad's beer out of the fridge. The entire sequence had the female scientist just doing too many silly things and I think it would have helped if she at least thought about what could happen as this would have given us a reason to believe she was actually as smart as a scientist would be. After some disappointing performances including Argento's disastrous GIALLO, it was nice seeing Brody back in good form. I thought he was certainly the best actor in the group here as I not only believed him as a scientist but he made me believe everything the character did. Brody had no trouble bringing the human drama to life and he was good enough to make us believe everything we were seeing. Polley is also pretty good in her role even though, as I said, I really hated her character. The two actors really do come off like a real couple, which certainly helped during the various twists at the end. Delphine Chaneac does a good job as the adult-formed creature. I think where the film ultimately fails is that we never do get to learn anything about the creature. It does all sorts of changes throughout the movie and even though our scientists are suppose to be doing research, we just never learn enough about it. The entire parents/daughter thing is an interesting idea and we get a few good moments from it. Sadly, the final ten-minutes turn pure Hollywood with a stupid chase sequence and an even dumber ending. Both of these would have fit into a Hollywood movie but SPLICE spent its entire running time trying to be smart yet tosses that away in the closing moments when it really wasn't needed. I'm not sure if this stuff was forced by a studio but it's certainly feels tacked on. It's easy to see why this movie bombed at the box office and who knows if it will catch on when it hits video. Either way, this is a pretty effective little gem that, for the most part, tries to use a brain instead of gore and violence, which is a rare thing these days. The end result isn't a masterpiece but it remains interesting and worth watching for those wanting something different.
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