If you don’t know the name Vincenzo Natali, you’ve been missing on some very good indie films. Natali burst onto the scene with his debut, the very clever “Cube”, and followed that up with “Cypher” and “Nothing”. He’s now done what is probably his most mainstream film to date, “Splice”, which is currently available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for download from Warner Home Video.
Superstar genetic engineers Clive (Adrien Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) specialize in splicing DNA from different animals to create incredible new hybrids. Now they want to use human DNA in a hybrid that could revolutionize science and medicine. But when the pharmaceutical company that funds their research forbids it, they secretly take their experiment underground – risking their careers to push the boundaries of science and serve their own curiosity and ambition. The result is Dren, an amazing, strangely beautiful creature of uncommon intelligence and unexpected physical developments. At first, Dren exceeds their wildest dreams. But as she grows and learns at an accelerated rate, her existence threatens to become their worst nightmare.
The biggest problem with “Splice” is that it’s not Natali unleashed. If anything, the film feels too rein in, without the usual Natali “big idea” that made films like “Cube” and “Nothing” such pleasures to sit through.
Here’s an excerpt from our review of the movie from earlier this year that about sums the film up:
“…for a film which promises so much, “Splice” really does fail to deliver. Disappointingly standard in terms of plotting, clichéd and needlessly mild mannered, it is likely only to please the most undemanding of genre fans, or for those who really desperate or lonely enough to be caught up by the central question – which revolves not around whether or not it is morally correct to screw around with human and animal DNA, but whether or not it is ok to have sex with the results. And then whether or not to feel bad afterwards.”
You can read the full review here.
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review:
For a major studio release, “Splice” comes surprisingly barebones. There’s really only one special feature, a 35-minute “behind the story” featurette called “A Director’s Playground: Vincenzo Natali on the Set of Splice”.
It’s a pretty complete behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Splice”. As always with studio movies, what goes into shooting various scenes is sometimes more amazing than the actual scenes being shot themselves.