There are science fiction movies that make you think. There are science fiction movies that will move you emotionally. Then there is "The Fly". David Cronenberg's new vision of the classic 'science gone wrong' film, is both fascinating in its science/thought provoking concepts but also endearing and horrifying in its examination of the human psyche and its representation of the human life. Yeah, it's pretty much the perfect science fiction film.
In this 1986 adaption of one of the greatest Sci Fi golden oldies, we have an eccentric and entirely enduring scientist Brundle (played by a riveting Goldblum) whose dabbling into the world of teleportation go hideously awry as his genetic make-up is combined with that of the common housefly. Ironic as it sounds, this is not the heart of this tale. No pun intended. As much as that concept could carry its own weight in film, this is more or less a love story with science fiction circumstances. Brundle falls for the reporter that is doing the exclusive on his work (Geena Davis) and its their relationship and odd chemistry that is the true core of what makes "The Fly" an amazing film.
David Cronenberg remains one of my favorite directors of all time. This film (despite its nuances) is perhaps his easiest film to really sink your teeth into and I suggest it for newcomers to his style. The surface value of this film is pretty straightforward with wonderful performances from the entire cast and a very distinct directing style. Like I said though, its that hidden and subtle depth of the human condition mixed with the amazingly clever dialogue (particularly from the eccentric Brundle) that makes this film work over 20 years later.
On top of its stellar writing and facinating story, is the science fiction part. Brundle's transformation from man to fly is grotesque and intriguing. The special effects are brilliantly done and hold up to this day (fuck CGI when you do it this good) and by the end of the film (and at the end of his humanity) the viewer is both horrified with the occurances as much as they are enthralled with them. The concepts are ingenious, I'm not much of a science nerd and I'm sure there is plenty of plot holes in the thinking, but using that in combination with the rest then "The Fly" is almost never faltering.
This is one of the greatest science fiction film's ever made. Cronenberg makes them like no one else, and "The Fly" has surpassed its greatest judge - time. Highly recommended to everyone.
Written By Matt Reifschneider