Monday, June 7, 2010
Splice Review, Or How to Watch Adrien Brody Bang a Freak Humanoid
The story of Splice is complex yet very simple at the same time. Two scientists (the aforementioned actors) become mildly famous by splicing together the DNA of various animals. They want to take their experiments to the next level: by using human DNA in the mix, they could create incredible breakthroughs in science and medicine. The company they work for is opposed to this idea, due to the moral and ethical boundaries that will be pushed to the limit. So they decide to conduct the experiments on their own, in secret. What they create changes their lives forever, and it deals with issues of parenthood, love, discipline and the morality of creating a brand new species that threatens to leave their controlled environment. To give away more of the plot would rob the viewer of some entertaining twists and surprises.
This film was a big hit at the festivals lately, yet it barely made an impact to this past weekend's box office. Part of the problem is the marketing of the film. If you watch the trailer, it seems to be a Species-like horror movie about a genetically-altered creature wreaking havoc across the land. Although there are disturbing scenes of violence and medical procedures, the film should be taken as more of a Frankenstein-esque tale of a creator's love and personal moral questioning of the ethics of creating a fully-functioning human-like creature in a science lab, and then watching it discover the outside world. Should they treat their creation like a child? Like an animal? In Adrien Brody's character's case, he treats it like a lover at one point in the film. This is where Splice will polarize many of it's potential viewers. It raises the question of loving something that isn't quite human and isn't quite animal. The film's insightful about it's characters psychological motivations and the possibility that the creators are the ones that are the freaks, not the creature itself. It's creepy, it's intelligent, and it raises questions in the viewer's minds about the societal implications of working with DNA and the motivations and choices of parenthood. (B)