Species

Tagline : For three million years, the human race has been at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Nothing lasts forever.

Runtime : 108 mins

Genre : Science Fiction Horror Action

Vote Rating : 6/10

Budget : 35 million $ USD

Revenue : 113.4 million $ USD

Plot : In 1993, the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence Project receives a transmission detailing an alien DNA structure, along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. The result is Sil, a sensual but deadly creature who can change from a beautiful woman to an armour-plated killing machine in the blink of an eye.

Cast Members

Reviews

Good watch, would watch again, and can recommend. This was a hit movie at the time, and other than the Xenos design, I'd say it is still a pretty good movie. The "anti-Jaws" approach of showing the monster off is really cool as the premise is largely how detailed and dangerous the xenos is, but the approach removes a lot of the suspense in the hunting and subterfuge, almost humanizing her as "hunted by the evil government entity". While it would be a much different, and arguably better, movie to do something more like "The Thing", that she only has one human mask sorts of outs her, making it more like a spy movie, and I think they did really well with that in mind. It just lacks the level of nuance and hidden information that spy and thriller movies tend to have. It's much closer to "Aliens" than "Alien".

_**Wiping out the "galactic weed**_" Released in 1995, "Species" chronicles events after SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) receives a transmission from outer space detailing alien DNA structure, along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. This gives birth to Sil, a girl (Michele Williams) who escapes and rapidly grows into a statuesque blonde (Natasha Henstridge). Government agent Xavier Fitch (Ben Kingsley) assembles a team to locate and destroy Sil before she finds a mate and breeds. The team includes a tough mercenary (Michael Madsen), an anthropologist (Alfred Molina), a molecular biologist (Marg Helgenberger) and an empath (Forest Whitaker). I developed a bad attitude toward "Species" for years due to Roger Ebert's scathing review, but changed my mind upon giving it an openminded viewing. This is a top-of-the-line sci-fi/adventure/horror flick. People look down on it because of the nudity and mild sex scenes, which prompts them to disdain it as exploitive and trashy. While Natasha Henstridge is a good-lookin' woman, she doesn't do anything for me (she's not my type) so I was able to totally overlook this element and focus on the film's other attributes. For one, the score by Christopher Young is excellent. Secondly, the A-list cast is a highlight and their characters are increasingly fleshed-out in the story. Lastly, while people understandably write-off the movie as a Grade B plot with Grade A production, there's more here than meets the eye. For instance, Sil is the innocent pawn of the extraterrestrials who sent the DNA. Another example is the excellent character of Dan (Whitaker) whom whiners complain about as "always pointing out the obvious" when the movie shows over and over that he DOES know things the others don't and they ignore him to their own peril. Dan is necessary so that the team knows what direction the creature takes on repeated occasions; without Dan we'd see them pursue one boring dead-end after another. While snobby film critics love to hate "Species" it's a thoroughly entertaining sci-fi adventure with an interesting moral and a great cast of characters. If you like films like "Alien," "Aliens," "Terminator," "Terminator 2" and "Predator" you'll probably appreciate it. It may not be as good as "Aliens," "Terminator" and "Terminator 2," but it's on par with "Alien" (and marginally better IMHO) and superior to "Predator." Then again, it depends on what you want in a sci-fi blockbuster. As far as I'm concerned, "Species" delivers the goods. The film runs 108 minutes and was shot in the areas of Los Angeles and Brigham City, Utah. GRADE: A- ***SPOILER ALERT*** (Don't read further unless you've seen the movie) The theory is postulated by the mercenary and biologist that the alien DNA was sent as a biological weapon, a "weed killer" from outer space to wipe out the galactic weed of earth or, more accurately, the human race that inhabits it. It's a fascinating concept and the film compellingly realizes it.

Clearly, these scientists had not heeded Jeff Goldblum in "Jurassic Park" (1993) when he warned about stopping to think that just because we can do something, it doesn't mean that we should. If they had, then perhaps we could have avoided the mayhem and brutality caused when they create "Sil" (Natasha Henstridge). She is the product of alien and human DNA and can morph between a beautiful woman and a savage killer in the blink of an eye. Of course she escapes from the high security facility that couldn't keep a cow out, and is soon on the search for a man. Not any particular man, just one who can help her make a baby - and believe me, that's not a good plan! The scientists - led by "Lennox" (a rather charmless Michael Madson) and "Baker" (Marg Helgenberger) are on her trail but can they stop her before she finds a willing partner? To be fair, the visual effects - very "Terminator" (1984) style - are actually quite effective but the acting, especially from the always hammy Ben Kingsley, and the scripting are very bottom drawer. There's some imagination with the look of the film, but the delivery is pedestrian across the board before an ending that has an inevitability to it that I found a bit predictable. Not terrible, but a real missed opportunity that had it been cast better and just spent a little more time on the a more substantial story, could have created a better sense of menace and even a little (dark) humour.

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