Species Movie Review

On the surface, Species is something like a new version of Alien taking place on Earth. Once you look really closely, though, you realize it's a movie about one woman getting naked.

The woman is newcomer Natasha Henstridge, who spends most of the film in her birthday suit--or her alternative alien suit when the need arises. In case you haven't seen the previews, my friend pretty much summed up his impression of Henstridge by asking me during the film, "Did you write down 'babe-a-licious?'" My response: "One 's' or two?"

Species starts out with an interesting idea: that an alien civilization would radio us a plan to genetically engineer a new (and far superior) race, which would inevitably destroy us all. Henstridge is "Sil," the code name of the first of these creatures, which escapes from captivity much too easily and begins marauding Los Angeles in an attempt to mate. Sil is a femme fatale in the purest sense of the word. Believe me, when she says "no," she means it, as one guy who tries to take advantage of her quickly finds out.

The first half of the film is pretty good. Here, Sil is unsure of her identity, and she struggles with her half-human, half-lizard, half-cockroach existence, metamorphosing from one form to another when duty calls. Sil is on the run, but she doesn't know why; as a youth, her instinct hasn't yet kicked in, and because she's had no "upbringing," she survives on the street with only raw emotion. When the inevitable band of four scientists and hunter Michael Madsen come after her, Sil panics and must kill kill kill.

Needless to say, a somewhat thoughtful film was not what I was expecting out of Species , and sure enough, by the time the second hour rolls around, the film degenerates into a formulaic search and destroy movie. It's never scary. Even the [insert favorite non-threatening creature] suddenly jumping at one of the good guys doesn't cause much of a stir in the crowd.

The Giger-designed creature is okay, but it's just like the one in Alien. The main effects problem is the ending, where crummy digital animation is used in place of models and makeup, effectively negating any suspense, and making the finale look kind of funny. Even Marg Helgenberger, as Madsen's love interest, starts off as pretty cool, but she ends up as goofy as her compatriots (including much-better-than-this-film actors Ben Kingsley and Forest Whitaker) by getting stuck between some rocks.

Of course, Henstridge steals the show and makes the film nearly watchable. She looks almost inhuman as it is...and some of her transformation sequences are almost too real. In fact, I once dated a girl who...well, but that's another story.


Comments

Species Rating

" Weak "

Rating: R, 1995

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

So, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Is Basically The Best Movie Ever, Right?

Critics are uproarious in their praise for Fox's sequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The movie, which follows 2011's well received effort, focuses...

So, 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Is Basically The Best Movie Ever, Right?

Cory Monteith's Father Is Still Mourning The Actor, But Thinks Lea Michele Should Move On

With the anniversary of Cory Monteith’s death approaching, his family and friends...

Cory Monteith's Father Is Still Mourning The Actor, But Thinks Lea Michele Should Move On

Beyonce And Jay Z Were Right At Home At The MetLife Stadium

Yes, hello, it’s still 2014 and Beyonce and Jay Z are still ruling over us all. On Friday night...

Jay Z  - Beyonce And Jay Z Were Right At Home At The MetLife Stadium

Jenny McCarthy Thinks Rosie O'Donnell's Return To "The View" Is Just What The Doctor Ordered

Since the first mention of Rosie O’Donnell for one of the free chairs on The View...

Jenny McCarthy Thinks Rosie O'Donnell's Return To

Jackson Family To Star In New Reality Show - But Who Is Alejandra Jackson?

Members of Michael Jackson's extended family are set to star in a new...

Jackson Family To Star In New Reality Show - But Who Is Alejandra Jackson?

Tommy Ramone, Raucous Drummer with The Ramones, Dies Aged 62

Tommy Ramone, the last surviving member of New York punk band The Ramones...

Tommy Ramone, Raucous Drummer with The Ramones, Dies Aged 62
Advertisement

Flashback Friday: Major Labels In Talks For Shares In SoundCloud In Exchange For Copyright Waivers

Berlin-based streaming service SoundCloud is about to reach a deal...

Flashback Friday: Major Labels In Talks For Shares In SoundCloud In Exchange For Copyright Waivers

Paul McCartney: Just One in a Long List of Celebs Who Love a Good Proposal

Paul McCartney made two fans’ dreams come true at a recent concert...

Paul McCartney: Just One in a Long List of Celebs Who Love a Good Proposal


More recommendations

Advertisement