The Fly (1986)

By | Begun 02/01/2004 | Updated 09/23/2014
Posted in Movies | , ,
*Never* take major action while emotionally compromisedTwentieth Century Fox
5 StarsThe Fly (1986). Dir. David Cronenberg. Perf. Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz. Twentieth Century Fox, 1986.

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform after one of his experiments goes grievously awry.

We have Jeff Goldblum to thank for his part in creating our current era in which horror, sci-fi, and action films involve not only spectacular effects, but also heart, soul, and intelligence. Taking the script solely on its face, this tale of doomed scientist Seth Brundle would still hold its own in the sci-fi annals, but in Goldblum’s hands it reaches tragedy of Shakespearean proportion.

The Fly earns its place here for its fearsome premise: that we must experiment in order to progress, but what happens when one takes the science just one step too far, or makes just one honest mistake? This isn’t Splice, in which hubris ruled and reaped the consequences of its folly; this is just a decent man and one catastrophic misstep.

Brundle was upset and in an emotional moment broke from his scientific protocol, missing the common housefly that swooped into the machine with him. An everyday element meets a human frailty, and an abomination unleashes, beyond science to undo. The laws of the physical world do not forgive, and because Goldblum keeps Brundle’s goodness aflicker, his terrifying fate becomes genuinely heartbreaking.

(This entry appeared as part of the WGTC Top 100 Sci-Fi Films article.)

Chime in

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *