1 hour, 54 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for disturbing elements including strong sexuality, nudity, sci-fi violence and language.
Adrien Brody ... Clive Nicoli
Sarah Polley ... Elsa Kast
Delphine Chanéac ... Dren
Brandon McGibbon ... Gavin Nicoli
Simona Maicanescu ... Joan Chorot
David Hewlett ... William Barlow
Abigail Chu ... Child Dren,
| Adrien Brody ("The Pianist") and Sarah Polley ("Dawn of the Dead") play Clive and Elsa, two brilliant biochemists who have led the way in creating a new organism produced from the DNA of several existing species. This new animal has nutrients that can be used to treat illnesses in livestock; and perhaps if some human DNA were thrown into the mix, the creature's proteins could maybe even cure human diseases. But, it would be illegal, not to mention unethical, to use human DNA in this fashion. That is why Clive and Elsa, who besides being lab partners, are also romantically involved; and they decide to do it, but secretly.
And guess what? A new organism is produced, and one with both human and animal characteristics. However, it ages rapidly, allowing the horrified yet curious Clive and Elsa to learn about its entire life span. Oh, and "it" is actually a "she." Elsa, who has never wanted to have a real child, treats this lab-manufactured thing first as a pet and then almost as a daughter.
Of course, what they're doing is outrageously stupid, but that's alright, because we enjoy seeing what comes next. But Clive and Elsa have mucked with God's domain, and for this someone must pay. Co-writer/director Vincenzo Natali ("Cube") maintains a joyful tone throughout, clearly relishing the experience of telling a story that gets crazier and crazier as it goes on.
Even as events become more shocking, there's the sense that that's the point - that by defying the laws of nature from the very start, Clive and Elsa have put themselves outside the normal bounds of what's "taboo." In a world like that, no plot device is too grotesque. As viewers, we just have to embrace the insanity and enjoy the wild ride.
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