You can always count on egotistical scientists to pay no heed to logic or past mistakes. If you believe the movies, none of them have read Frankenstein or Jurassic Park, otherwise they’d know not to mess with Mother Nature. Genetic engineers Clive and Elsa (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) surely missed the “Do Not Play God” memo as they forge ahead with a radical experiment in Vincenzo Natali’s Splice, a new twist on an old tale in which cutting edge gene splicing is used in less than moral ways with dire consequences.
What they come up with is Dren (read backwards), the byproduct of a mixture of various animals’ DNA as well a bit of human genome. At first ugly, then cute and finally perversely beautiful, the creature is quite dangerous and smarter than your average monster. Without question, the most intriguing element of the film is the rapid evolution of Dren, who constantly has a trick up its sleeve, developing one odd ability after another.
However, as clever as the screenwriters make the creature, they’re required to cast Clive and Elsa (kudos to you if you catch the allusion of their names) as idiots at times to keep the plot moving. Their consistently boneheaded actions undercut the film’s logic and have us rooting for their deaths at the hands of their creation. Though there’s a creepy twist at the end, the story proceeds predictably, showing little in the way of radical splicing as far as horrific storylines are concerned.
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