MIFF 2010 review: Splice

3 Aug

If you need a break from documentaries and feel like a slice of classic sci fi at this years MIFF then Splice is your ticket. After the greedy multi national company funding their research decides to pull the plug on their ground breaking project, two genetic engineers, Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody)and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley), create a new animal/human hybrid called Dren.  Not surprisingly the two scientists (who are also partners outside of the laboratory) become attached to their creation and all sorts of ethical issues arise. Surprisingly although these issues are given some lip service, the film makers seem to have gone for a lighter touch and many of the scenes play like an episode of “I dream of Jeannie”  as the two scientists think up ways of making sure Dren isn’t discovered.

Given recent developments in the field of genetic engineering, a reinvention of the Frankenstein story seems like perfect timing but the mixture of slapstick comedy and sci-fi thriller doesn’t always work. Though it’s not clear by the film’s end whether or not director Vincenzo Natali(Cube) is being tongue in cheek or not, there is certainly some fun to be had here.***

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