UK Release date: 23rd July 2010
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 15th March 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
A film that gained some critical acclaim on release but the public didn’t appear all that enamoured. I must say this one has intrigued me for some time and so when it finally aired on TV this week I jumped on the chance to give it the once over. To be honest I’m going to have to go with the public on this one… I didn’t find it all that great and I’ll tell you why after this very brief summary.
When biochemists Clive Nicoli (Adrien Brody) and Elsa Kast (Sarah Polley) perfect the technique of splicing genes together they are ready to take it to the next stage; using human DNA. Their bosses, Joan Chorot (Simona Maicanescu) and William Barlow (David Hewlett), are dead against it, preferring to cash in on the work done so far. Our scientists decide to go ahead anyway, but in secret. They finally produce a creature which, with accelerated growth soon becomes too big to hide in the lab. They call her Dren (Delphine Chanéac) – and yes, that is ‘NERD’ spelt backwards – and move her to Elsa’s childhood home, a nearby abandoned farm. Our learned friends go through the usual moral dilemmas, but Elsa is keeping a secret and Dren is more dangerous than they imagined. I think I’ll leave it there or I may give too much away.
I didn’t enjoy this film as much as I was expecting to; I guess I wanted better from the director of Cube. I felt there wasn’t enough character development and so I found it very hard to sympathise with either of the leads. It is alluded to that one of them may have had psychological problems as a child but this is just skated over and when it later becomes a major plot point it has lost all of the impact it might have had. I thought the performances were all right with nobody really standing out. I do have to give a little praise to Delphine Chanéac though for her portrayal of Dren though; it was more of a mime because there’s no dialogue, but I thought she did it well. Over all, a disappointing film that promised much but failed to deliver by the end. It all became a little too predictable from the point the cat appears on the scene; you *know* it’s going to end badly for the cat – what is it with filmmakers and cats!? Let kitty live! It might gain you an extra point!
SteelMonster’s verdict: NOT RECOMMENDED
My score: 5.2/10.
IMDb Score: 5.9/10 (based on 53,042 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 66/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 37/100 (based on 244,934 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Elsa Kast: If you could understand crazy, it wouldn't be crazy.
Clive Nicoli: Why the fuck did you make her in the first place? Huh? For the betterment of mankind? You never wanted a normal child because you were afraid of losing control.