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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Movie Review: SPLICE


You can view the trailer here

Splice was one of the major hits coming out of the Sundance Film Festival, so it was only a matter of time until it got its due release to the public. It tells the story of a young pair of scientists striving to push the moral and ethical boundaries in relation to human genetics and cloning. The two genetically splice human DNA with animal DNA, and a new organism is born. However, nothing can be assumed, and things quickly turn for the worse. I won't say any more lest I give up the ending!

Let's start with the screenplay: it's innovative and original, and it really draws you into the story. There hasn't been a movie quite like this before; yes, there have been other films referencing the ethics of human cloning, but this puts a very different spin on the idea. As the two scientists progress with their study (and affection) of this creature (aptly named "Dren," the reverse of "NERD," which is the acronym for the lab at which they work), we see their relationship with Dren develop as well as their continued concern for whether this experiment was right or wrong. I did, however, have a little bit of issue with the film's climax; however, it does stick with the thriller genre in that regards.

The acting throughout is good, for lack of a better word. Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are just fine as our leads, but they don't really stand out as much as I would have liked. Delphine Chanéac is very good as Dren, giving partial life to the creature (I say partial in that a lot of the creature is created through CGI). There are a few ancillary characters as well, but they're so seldom seen that it's really a bother to even mention them.

Now, Splice does have two pieces that truly work. The first is Vincenzo Natali's direction of the film, which is simultaneously dark and brooding as well as thoughtful and thought-provoking. Natali does a very good job here, and if anything, that's what brought me into the movie even more. The second lies with the film's special effects. It's not the CGI-overload that many big-time blockbusters have become accustomed to using; instead, we see a very limited, but extremely effective, use of computer-generation. Dren, in all of its evolutionary stages, is quite a sight to behold, and the ability for the actors to interact with these special effects is at times mind-boggling. My hat goes off to the special effects crew; they did an astounding job.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B-
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