It sounds like the premise of a thousand monster movies: Brilliant but reckless scientists perform an ill-advised experiment, unleashing into the world a deadly beast. Havoc reigns. People die. Mankind once again pays the ultimate price for trying to play God.
The difference, in Vincenzo Natali’s chilling, cerebral Splice, is that the premise is handled with unusual restraint. Rather than embracing the sensational, Natali, who co-wrote the original story, seems more interested in the human drama that unfolds as two genetic engineers, played by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley, form a precarious bond with the creature their human-DNA experiment has produced.
A native Londoner, Idris Elba speaks with an almost undetectable British accent, one he’s masked successfully as Stringer Bell, a Baltimore drug lord in HBO’s celebrated The Wire, and, most recently, as Roque, an ornery black-ops specialist in the action-comedy The Losers.
Elba, 37, says he’s lived in the U.S. long enough to perfect his American dialect, but that he’s not entirely satisfied with it. That comes as news to Losers director Sylvain White, who sought out Elba after admiring his work in The Wire.
Even as rabid fans and Warner Bros. executives are at long last celebrating the arrival of the Watchmen movie, one of the men most responsible for the Hugo Award-winning tale of fallen superheroes living in an age of impending nuclear war – author Alan Moore – couldn’t care less.
Just ask his partner in creation, artist Dave Gibbons.