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3 1/2 stars-Send in the Clones!
on October 29, 2011
Splice(released June/10)stars Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody and was a Canadian/French co-production,filmed in and around Toronto.This Sci-Fi thriller is not quite as thrilling as I thought it would be.I don't know if its the length,the been there-done that moments in the plot,the lack of chemistry between the two stars or something else but it certainly lacks a serious punch.
The plot involves the two stars as geneticists working for a pharmaceutical company in R&D.The two create two live "lumps" and name them Fred and Ginger.However they want to push the envelope even farther,so Sarah injects some of her own DNA into a genetic soup and voila,Dren is born.At first it's a kind of cute though uncoordinated cat-like creature on long spindly legs but it soon is growing at an exponential rate.In order to keep their secret a secret,they take Dren to Sarah's parents abandoned farm where they keep her under wraps as she matures.With her physical growth comes mental growth and she continues to amaze and astonish Adrien and Sarah constantly.By accident they discover she is a water breather and after a fit of temper Dren takes to the roof and sprouts wings!
As time wears on Dren is developing feelings for Adrien who ends up sleeping with her.Sarah finds them together and storms out.At a conference of big wigs and backers,their company puts on a display of Fred and Ginger.When they put them together they inexplicably end up killing each other in a blood bath that spills into the audience.It turns out one of them transformed from a female into a male.The company is ruined unless the two can come up with a special cloning sequence they have been working on but so far to no avail.Sarah returns with a piece of Dren and successfully creates the sequence.In the meantime Dren is found in a comatose state back on the farm and she apparently ends up dying on them.Just after they bury her Adriens movie brother and their boss show up demanding to see the creature.As Sarah tosses the boss the shovel to go dig her up himself,something flies down a swoops him away.In a few moments it's Adriens brother turn.Both go running into the woods to search for them but Adrien loses his light in a pond.As he is retrieving it he is pulled in,and after a few tense moments resurfaces,and is helped onto the ground unable to move.Suddenly the creature that was Dren is now rising from the pond,has wings and is now a male;and he's after some female companionship.The creature chases Sarah down and has intercourse with her.Adrien shows up to impale the creature with a strong branch but Dren pulls it out more being more than a little mad at Adrien.As the creature turns its attentions on him it gives Sarah a chance to gather her wits and hit Dren from behind.Just before she gives it the final blow,Dren kills Adrien with a swift flick of its tale.
The film ends as we see the head of the pharmaceutical company offering Sarah a lucrative contract for her continuing aid in R&D.We also see she's pregnant.Was it Adrien or Dren?
As I said at the start,I don't know what it is about this movie that just doesn't excite me as it should.The S/FX and make up are top notch involving DREN,the acting is solid but it lies somewhere between the lack of good scary moments and their timing when they do occur,to the lack of on screen chemistry between Polley and Brody.Plus the script is little on the ho-hum side too.Just nothing to sink your teeth into.
Technically speaking the film is clear and crisp and in its' original a/r of 1:78:1.Extras include the trailer,a teaser,a Fangoria mag interview with the director and a behind the scenes look at the set.
All in all this average to just above average flick plays well as far as the creature is concerned and the S/FXs and make up involved therein.But the movie overall doesn't have the scary impact it should and as a result when the "tense" moments come they play out more with a whimper than a bang.