Saturday, October 20, 2012

Splice

(2009) ***1/2

How I missed a beautiful work of art like Splice, I'll never know. Well, actually I do know -- this movie got bad reviews at the time and despite it's starring one of my favorite actors, the flawless Adrien Brody, I knew not a soul who would've wanted to spend their time and money watching this.

Not a soul but me.
I've got a soft spot for tall white guys with big noses.
The story focuses on Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley), two genetic engineers in love and on the verge of presenting a new creation to the public that could help end human diseases from synthesizing a gene possessed in their specimens (which really look like human flesh-colored sea slugs). Eventually they add a pinch of human DNA into the mix to see what happens.

Dren happens -- an adorable pig-rat-fish thing that subsists on sugar and Elsa's coos of encouragement.

Julie and Octo did a superb job of summarizing this back in oh-ten, and I pretty much agree with a lot of what they said. A few troubles I had with the movie were with Elsa -- it's her damn duty as a scientist to create, clone, kill and autopsy animals everyday to get what she wants. How'd she get her damn doctorate? Woman must've killed a thousand mice, tested over a hundred beagles and primates to get her Ph. D. and she can't stand to terminate "Dren" in the name of science!
Such marvelous things nerds are made of. Courtesy of laughingsquid.com
Anyway, the dynamic couple make one bad decision after another and as Dren matures the movie becomes both intriguing, saddening, and creepy. It's intriguing to me that Elsa doesn't want to have a child of her own with Clive but is quite comfortable with creating one in the lab (I guess because it doesn't compromise her body and career?), saddening because despite their best efforts to "parent" Dren, she is still reared in seclusion and secrecy and only wants to go out and explore the world. Take her to a late-night movie, or on a Sunday drive in the countryside, or include her in a big brunch of bacon 'n' eggs -- this specimen is cognizant and needs meaningful experiences!

There's one scene that I thought the movie could do without, but later realized was necessary in order for the ending to have the same impact. Either way, if you want some messed up, unethical scientific practices, Splice delivers!

8 comments:

AC said...

great review, sounds pretty damn tempting.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

"There's one scene that I thought the movie could do without.." Let me guess - was your precious Adrian Brody attacked in said scene?

DCD said...

I always applauded Adrian Brody for planting that kiss on Halle Berry when he won the Oscar. I remember Octo and Julie reviewing this one and thinking it sounded good. Nice to see you agree. Augh! There are so many movies to watch!!

JPX said...

Not to be a wet blanket but I really disliked this film. I thought I had reviewed it but a quick trip to the Monster List made me realize that I only commented on it. Here's what I wrote in response to Octo's excellent review,

"the characters are all lit in an unflattering manner and I struggle to see Adrian Brody in any leading role. He always appears dysthymic to me. I also hated his wife in this film, she just grates like a tic burrowing into your skull as you sleep. The greatest problem I had, though, was the creature herself. Despite proclamations of, "Isn't she cute?" I found myself yelling at the screen, "No, she's not!" I never bought into her sexualization because, as I noted before, she appears to have Down Syndrome."

Catfreeek said...

I did like the film but I totally agree with JPX about her sexualization

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I'll save my opinions for my own review but I'd just like to add that I laugh every time I scroll past that picture of Adrian Brody eating the pizza!

Octopunk said...

Ha! Me too!

"Take her to a late-night movie, or on a Sunday drive in the countryside, or include her in a big brunch of bacon 'n' eggs -- this specimen is cognizant and needs meaningful experiences!"

Damn right! You, Crystal, may take care of my lab-spawned genetic horrors any day of the week.

Crystal Math said...

Your lab-spawned genetic horror can have play dates with other lab-spawned genetic horrors. :-)

Would "lab-spawned genetic horror" be considered another sub-genre?