Splice, A Review

Splice, A Review
Directed by: Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac, Brandon McGibbon, Simona Maicanescu, David Hewlett, Abigail Chu
Rating: R for pervasive strong language, some sexuality and brief drug use.
Genre: SciFi Fantasy
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Language: English
Runtime: 104 minutes.

Be advised: This attempt at a review contains some spoilers!

Splice was a surprisingly entertaining film even though it was not what I expected it to be. It was cerebral and did not rely on gore and blood to keep you interested. There are scenes with blood and gore but the movie does not rely on those few frames. The director instead uses it to make a point. The scene was foreshadowing a later event that gave relevancy to the entire movie.

When I watched the commercials for Splice I pictured another Species-like film. Splice is a combination of The Fly and Frankenstein. How can someone so supposedly smart be so very very dumb and unethical? Film after film, scientist want to study or save the alien creature that is wreaking havoc on cast members or the entire human race. I guess it is a formula that works so film makers keep using it, but just once I would like to see the scientists ready to kill the alien hell bent on destroying everyone.

I digress because after meeting Dren, (the spliced creation), you don’t want to kill her/it. Or do you?

As the movie progressed and I realized it would not be just like Species I was thinking disappointment. I enjoyed the first Species movie. The counter on the player rolled on and I was more intrigued with the direction the movie was taking. This was more than a science fiction movie and much less than a horror movie. Just like I began to think of Data from Star Trek as “more” than an android, I also began to care about this spliced creation. Dren was pulling at my heart. I did not think of her as human, but indeed an sentient being and not just a lab experiment.

The final one third of Splice is the typical Hollywood ending. Despite the flaws Splice is still more entertaining than the stuff Hollywood pumps out and calls horror. With the stupid and inane remakes (The Day The Earth Stood Still, 2008) and no reason to make sequels (list is far to long to single out one), Splice is like a hot bath at the end of a hard day or a breath of fresh air, so to speak.

Despite not liking the characters played by Adrein Brody and Sarah Polley, the acting was good. Despite not wanting a hybrid species created by mad scientists, I liked Dren and French actress Delphine Chanéac (with no dialogue), was sensitive and endearing. Think of Tom Hanks in Cast Away.

I cannot make promises, but I think if you are a fan of science fiction and sometimes still watch the horrible movies the SyFy channel puts out, you will enjoy Splice.

Verdict: Splice gets 4 stars.

Recommendation: The Hidden is a science fiction thriller starring Kyle MacLachlan from the 80’s that I thoroughly enjoyed. If you like this genre of science fiction and want the action, gore, violence and awful music, this is for you.

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  1. #1 by Tiny on November 14, 2010 - 2:11 PM

    I plan on watching this movie sooner or later. I enjoyed Legislating Morality and I love Science Fiction content, so I think your review is good

  2. #2 by Cherlyn on November 11, 2010 - 4:17 AM

    Good review Tom!! You were honest, were straight to the point and didn’t give much detail away so for people who want to watch this film can watch it with a pretty clean slate – and I like that! :)

    I personally couldn’t stand this film, for a number of reasons – and without giving too much away, the sex scenes really bothered me…not because sex scenes bother me in general, but they were gross on a conceptual level, rather than a visual level. I hope that makes sense to you, I’m trying to not say too much.

    But it’s nice to hear a different perspective on the film, and I do agree, there are a lot of science fiction fans who probably would like this film :)

    I hope to see more reviews from you! This was great!

    • #3 by Tom Baker on November 11, 2010 - 10:54 AM

      Thanks Cherlyn and I guess I shouldn’t compare myself to others (I tell people that all the time) but I wish I could write reviews in the same vein you do. I know what you mean about the sex scenes but I think the character at least from the crotch up was sexy to Adrien’s character. Any thoughts that she was his ‘daughter’ were only in his girlfriend’s mind. Regardless, I understand what you mean.

  3. #4 by Scott Moore on November 10, 2010 - 10:51 AM

    I didn’t really like this movie but I think I might watch it again. Good insight Tom and thanks for the gallery too. I haven’t heard of the Hidden but it might be something good to watch this weekend.

    • #5 by Tom Baker on November 11, 2010 - 10:50 AM

      Scott, The Hidden is a great movie. To me it was just fun to watch. Not an award winner of course, but fun and entertaining with popcorn and a cold Heineken!

  4. #6 by Scent of my heart on November 10, 2010 - 3:22 AM

    Nice review Tom, I like movies like this so I’ll probably get hold of it and see it!

    • #7 by Tom Baker on November 10, 2010 - 6:32 AM

      Thanks Blaga. After reading Cherlyn’s reviews I wouldn’t really call this a review. Hers are filled with such detail and great information I wouldn’t think to include. I think you might like it. And on another note, my new favorite show Undercovers was canceled this week. Low ratings is the reason.

      • #8 by Scent of my heart on November 11, 2010 - 1:51 AM

        Well, Cherlyn is great in reviews :), but yours is not bad either! Sorry to hear for Undercovers, I tried to find it few times to watch it online somewhere, but no luck! I’m watching the Mentalist though and enjoy it very much! Regards!

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