Splice (film review)
Written by Dan Collacott
Director: Director: Vincenzo Natali. Run time: 1hr 47 mins.
Clive Nicoli (Brody) and his girlfriend and fellow genetic scientist Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) have successfully created two large moving scrotums (seriously that is what they look like) from the spliced dna of several species, fortunately the two ball bags in question also love each other. As they say in commercials here's the science bit, the two genetic hybrids don't quite manage to provide some protein that the company Nicoli and Kast need to... erm... well... I think there was something about the protein saving lives or it gives women perfect asses or something like that. The threat of pulled funding leads the twosome to introduce human DNA into their splicing, believing they have to do this before someone else does and that it will save lives (?). The result is a life form that emerges from another cocoon type ball sack, looking like a shaved rabbit with no ears, it survives and... oh come on you've probably seen the trailer do you really need me to really explain all this?
So skipping ahead, the result of their experiment grows into a young bald female type thing with goats legs and a tail. All the while director Vincenzo Natali pretty unsubtly introduces 'the female lead's mum was mentally unstable' gambit, of course this lends weight to a whole load of childhood and parenting issues, which is handy when distorting Elsa's maternal instincts towards Dren (yep she named it, oh and by this point it is making noises like Bjork and looks like and probably is Bjork). Then Clive dances with Dren and sniffs her or sees in her eyes that she is connected to Elsa, yes you guessed it the next revelation is Elsa used her own 'mad family' DNA to create Dren. Which leads to the most laughable scene of the entire film, Nicoli ends up having sex with Dren, why? I really don't know, the Elsa link? The fact he likes to shag weird genetic hybrids? Or the fact she is actually an attractive model/actor that's just wearing a face prosthesis and stick on wings? Anyway it's this scene that really undermines the credibility of the film (It's like they wheeled in Lars von Trier and said 'hey Lars why don't you add one element to this film, anything you want, seriously dude go for it') what is even more stupid is it only takes about three minutes for Elsa to get over seeing her boyfriend getting his groove on with freaky Bjork, I mean Dren.
Anyway, yada yada Dren turns evil (possibly because of the mad family DNA), the whole thing goes a bit 'Species' and despite the carnage no lessons are learnt by the evil medical corporation.
So in conclusion, the first half of the film is a truly intriguing modern day riff on the Frankenstein theme and what it lacks in substance it just about makes up with originality, but this alone can't sustain you after 'that scene' and the fairly predictable end to proceedings. I really wanted to like this film and I think when the dust has settled and I've stopped laughing at the thought of Adrian Brody having sex with Bjork with goats legs then I'll probably realise there is a half decent film in here, but sadly it is undermined by a couple of awful scenes and a massively unsophisticated plot.