Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) are superstars of the genetic engineering world. They specialize in splicing together DNA from different animals to create fantastical new hybrids. The charismatic couple wants to use human DNA in a new hybrid—something that could yield astronomical medical benefits. The pharmaceutical company that funds their research, however, is more interested in exploiting their earlier triumphs for easier, short-term profit. Clive and Elsa secretly conduct their own experiment. The result is Dren: an amazing creature who exhibits an array of unexpected developments, both physical and intellectual. Dren exceeds their wildest dreams…and, ultimately, their most terrifying nightmare.
Clive (Adrien Brody, Le pianiste – King Kong) et Elsa (Sarah Polley, L’Aube des morts – La Vie secrète des mots) sont jeunes, brillants et ambitieux. Les nouvelles espèces animales qu’ils ont créées leur ont donné la réputation de superstars rebelles du monde scientifique. En secret ils introduisent un gène humain dans leur expérimentation. Le résultat est quelque chose sans commune mesure avec l’addition des divers éléments : une femme, mélange humain et animal qui peut représenter une nouvelle étape dans l’échelle de l’évolution. Clive et Elsa pensent qu’ils ont peut-être généré l’être parfait jusqu’à ce que celui-ci se métamorphose finalement en un monstre qui risque de les détruire et le reste de l’humanité avec eux.
In the grand movie tradition of doomed scientists, Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) won't let the official quashing of their Frankensteinian experiment stand in the way of working on the scheme anyway. Sure, the ethics of swizzling together human genes with various lab potions is queasy, and the initial result of their rogue project is disconcertingly pitched somewhere between a human baby and a monster thing with a stinger in its tail. And yes, the beastie is growing fast. Like, really, really fast. But this is science, right? Surely the breakthrough in human evolution that would come with this experiment justifies a little corner cutting? Splice
is going to answer these questions in a reliably familiar way, and in its early going it finds some fun in working hip variations on the mad-scientist genre--plus, in Brody and Polley, the film already distinguishes itself by reaching up to the top shelf for actors. It would be nice to report that director Vincenzo Natali (whose Cube
was a very fun Twilight Zone
-flavored teaser) is able to stitch these elements into something that keeps its momentum going; alas, despite the arrival of Delphine Chaneac as the mature (and unsettlingly sexy) mutant creature, the movie begins stepping into the sillier possibilities of its scenario. Splice
would like to mess you around with some aggressively transgressive material toward the end, but this just leads us away from the most fruitful moral questions surrounding the creation of the semi-human being in the first place. That's where the horror lies. --Robert Horton