Top critical review
Good Sci-fi Thriller, Not Quite A Classic Though
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2018
While not a genre classic, this sci-fi thriller did well at the box office, and spawned 3 (little-known) sequels plus an action figure set!
Largely a "killer-alien-on-the-loose" flick, it centers on the manhunt for an alien creature named Sil (Natasha Henstridge), who escapes a government lab and begins a killing spree in her quest to reproduce.
I didn't think much of this when it came out in theaters. But after seeing it again, it has quite a bit going for it, including:
1) A very young Michelle Williams is incredible as the young Sil.
2) It has a great cast, including Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, Alfred Molina, and Whip Hubley. Their characters all have different priorities, which makes for some interesting group dynamics.
3) The special effects - while borrowing much from "Alien" - have just enough flamboyant shock value without being too gruesome.
4) The action is well-directed and paced. The final showdown with the monster (last 20 minutes or so) are particularly effective and suspenseful.
1) It's mostly action and suspense, while the story itself is flimsy and not too developed. There were better "killer alien on the loose" movies in the 80's and 90's, that not only had great stories, but also entertaining buddy-cop action, like "The Hidden" and "I Come In Peace."
2) We never really find out where this creature is from or why she is here (those answers come in "Species II"). There are also the usual cheap scares which diminish the film's credibility somewhat.
3) Relies too much on unnecessary nudity and topless scenes. Natasha Henstridge doesn't really get to do much except take off her clothes, walk around L.A. trying to blend in, and kill men in gruesome ways after seducing them.
Overall, there is enough here to be of interest to fans of sci-fi thrillers, as long as you are not expecting anything cerebral or all that memorable. This was Natasha Henstridge's first movie, and she went on to prove her acting talents in other movies and T.V., especially the great-but-short series "Eli Stone."