Species (1995) – Science Fiction Film Review

It is no masterpiece, but after some of the schlock seen this year, it is nice to see a science-fiction horror film that delivers. Basically, this is “ALIEN on Earth,” featuring some of the best on-screen visualizations of H.R Giger’s work since Ridley Scott piloted the Nostromo to stratospheric box office success.
The hunt-and-chase plot offers a conventional, audience-friendly plot that keeps the sci-fi proceedings believably grounded, and the cast manages to make some sense of the pursuit teams’s character interaction, even when the script is thin. Ben Kingsley takes the genre material seriously, and it is nice to see supporting actor Michael Madsen given a chance to shine as the cool-headed professional brought in to track down the alien menace that literally threatens the survival of the human race. It is hard to say whether Natasha Henstridge is an actress of great depth, but she perfectly embodies that menace in the human guise of the seductive Sil.
Some plot threads are abandoned or not fully developed, and there are some annoying inconsistencies. But why gripe. Roger Donaldson may not be a genre specialist, but he knows how to keep the action moving along, and it has been too long since Hollywood let Giger create a new movie monster in a starring role.
SPECIES (1995). Directed by Roger Donaldson. Written by Dennis Feldman. Cast: Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Natasha Henstridge.

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