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Species

Year: 1995
Studio: MGM
Director: Roger Donaldson
Producer: Frank Mancuso Jr/Dennis Feldman
Writer: Dennis Feldman
Cast: Michael Madsen, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge, Forest Whitaker, Alfred Molina, Marg Helgenberger, Michelle Williams

In the early CGI era this was a pretty groundbreaking movie with its mixture of sex and aliens (in the form of the winsome Natasha Henstridge). Today, like a lot of Donaldson's work, it's too conscious of the era and the script comes across as ropey as the effects. it might surprise you to learn that Alien designer H R Giger was behind the designs for Sil. it must has been an off day for him.

A secretive government agency is keeping what appears to be a young girl (Michelle Williams) captive in a top secret facility, but when the enigmatic director (Kingsley) orders her terminated, she breaks out of her chains and escapes into the countryside, sneaking onto a train bound for LA while the agency scrambles to bring her in.

Far from a harmless teenage girl, Sil is actually a hybrid bred from alien DNA, so even though she's human and beautiful, she's dangerous, strong, hungry...and she'll want to mate as soon as possible.

A specialist team of scientists and a bounty hunter are assembled to track the now-grown creature (Henstridge) as she makes her way around the LA club and party scene to find a man who can impregnate her.

The rest is a pretty generic chase thriller, full of 90s tough-guy dialogue from hero Lennox (Marsden), a few coincidences and implausibilities too many and a story aesthetic that might have come from a teenage boy to get the gorgeous Henstridge out of her clothes as much as possible between explosions and gunfights.

This was Donaldson in full studio mode, a zone he's flourished in before (see The Getaway) but under which he suffers here thanks to a by-numbers script.

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