Synopsis: Superstar genetic engineers Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine. But when the pharmaceutical company that funds their research forbids it, they secretively take their experiment underground – risking their careers to push the boundaries of science and serve their own curiosity and ambition. The result is Dren, who exceeds their wildest dreams – and threatens to become their worst nightmare.

Splice 7.5

Funny how time skews one’s perception. The greater the distance from this film, the less thrilled I am with it. However, when I saw it, I REALLY enjoyed it, warts and all (I originally gave it an 8. But now I’d have to give it a 7.5. Hmmm…)

Well, I still think it’s a very good film. it’s just that there are no moments that jump out at me as being memorable – you know those key scenes that most films have that you invariably recall when you think of them: the confrontation between Luke and Vader in ‘Empire’, for instance. Not so here.

And yet it had me from the get-go. I loved the dynamic between the two leads and their utter devotion to their field. I thought the concept of DNA splicing was thought-provoking (if, at times, in a heavy-handed way) and I was thrilled that it wasn’t an action movie like most Hollywood films would been. Instead, they developed the film through the characters, their choices, their interactions.

Sure, there were a couple of thrills or twists along the way, and the ending was certainly tacked on to provide a final punch, but it was generally more intellectual than visceral – and I always like that sort of thing, when done correctly. A good combination of both, as ‘Cube’ was (same writer-director) can really grip me.

Anyway, the film is a good entry in sci-fi cinema, may end up being a bit of a cult classic, and has the potential of spawning dialogue about the ethics of DNA research, cloning, …etc. So that’s not such a bad thing in the end. Is it a classic? No. Is ‘Splice’ a superior film in the genre? I think so.

But, then again, great (i.e. smart, thought-provoking, well-crafted) sci-fi is hard to come by.

What do you think?

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