Splice | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Splice

Creating hybrid life forms is never wise, it but makes for good thrillers

"I just wish things could go back to the way they were." Man, how many times when you're done creating a new life form -- part human, part something else, and now on the attack -- have you said that? It takes a while in Vincenzo Natali's moody thriller for the pair of biochemists-slash-lovers to regret succumbing to that tantalizing but dangerous impulse known as "playing God." By that point, Splice wraps up as expected, but the journey of its hipster-nerd protagonists Clive (Adrian Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) is somewhat more arthouse than grindhouse. Outright action is minimal; instead, Natali builds a brooding morality tale -- intercut with dark humor, unnatural urges and very realistic-looking surgical procedures. (I was reminded of David Cronenberg's films that also mash up sex, freaky medical stuff and unchecked human impulses.) This film is smarter -- and slower -- than the flashy trailer would have you believe, but it's an enjoyable 90 minutes of unease, even if its plot twists take a familiar path. Starts Fri., June 4.

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