Clone: When I first heard about this film, I thought it was going to be heading for the cinema.
After all, Eva Green‘s a big name in Hollywood with films such as Casino Royale and Dark Shadows, while Matt Smith is one of the biggest stars on UK television at the moment, thanks to Doctor Who.
So, imagine my surprise when I find a lovely Blu-ray of the film turning up on my doorstep, and further investigation leading to its only cinema releases being in film conventions and the like. Matt Smith in the lead role would’ve secured it a high mainstream cinema audience. Hence, one can only imagine that it’s… not going to be very good….
As the film begins, two young children, Tommy and Rebecca meet on the beach while she is staying with her grandfather, but after just a few days, she is off to go and live with her Mum who’s taken a job in Tokyo. Sometimes a childhood love, of sorts, can stay with us, and as life gets pedestrian, we want to reclaim that lost feeling, so she heads back.
It’s odd that when they meet, Rebecca declares that it’s been just 12 years since they last saw each other, even though they were supposedly around 9 or 10 originally, and now, Eva Green is just over 30 and Matt Smith is heading there later this year.
Tommy, as a child, showed Rebecca his snail (which is not a euphemism), and commented on how taking him out of the green grass and setting him on a table must look like a different planet. This coincides quite nicely with the way that the seaside location in which they reside, where no other man seems to go, could effectively also be a different planet.
When they meet again, he’s a member of a militant environmental activist group, who are about to take action against an organisation who, amongst other things, are involved in the cloning of domestic animals. The plans are all prepared but… when Thomas meets his untimely death, can she bring herself to put him through the cloning process and deal with what happens next? After all, there has to be remifications of all this.
That said, why should she have to live without him again?
What follows is an intriguing idea, but at nearly two hours long it’s needs a good 20-30 mins chopping out of it as it really does drag.
And I could also pick holes in it, such as the fact that for a film which covers a period of 20 years or so, once Thomas is killed, how come they never made Eva Green appear to age? And how is she still using teh same laptop at the end of that period? Mine’s four years old and it’s slow as a tortoise!
Matt Smith is pretty much the same as he is in Doctor Who, often talking non-stop albeit not quite as manic, while Eva Green is fine but constantly plays her part like a startled rabbit trapped in the headlights, even though her character often has good reason to be.
The best thing I can say is that throughout the film, director Benedek Fliegauf brings us fantastic panoramic views of the beach and surrounding areas, yet while the location isn’t defined in the film, making you assume, with everyone speaking English, that it’s filmed somewhere off the South coast if England, it was actually shot in Northsea, Germany, mostly around St Peter-Ording and the islands of Langeneß and Sylt.
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the picture is fine, but never looks like it’s outstanding, as it’s mostly a grim, seaside town picture. There’s no problems with the picture, though.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version and it’s mostly dialogue and the sound of the sea crashing against the shore.
The extras are pretty thin on the ground and are as follows:
- Inside Clone (22:44): A making-of documentary featuring chat from the cast and crew.
- Trailer (1:42): Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio, and it shows the film was originally entitled Womb.
The menu features film clips placed amongst bizarre animation such as the cast adorning shooting gallery targets to a short piece of the theme. There are subtitles in English only and it could do with a few more chapters at 18 over the 111-minute running time. I go by the rule of thumb of one every five minutes, taking into account one each for the opening and closing credits.
These extras are okay, but for such a major release I would’ve thought we’d get many more, especially as the sticker on the front proclaims: “Packed with hours of special features”, although the bulk of these are clearly based on the score and audio description. We’re also missing around 20 minutes of footage used on the US release entitled, X Marks The Spot, a series of mini-featurettes used as a feature-length picture-in-picture track, although only filling around a sixth of that time.
The menu features clips of the film set against the movie’s theme. There are subtitles in English and 10 other languages and, thankfully, 20th Century Fox are one of the few distributors still putting a decent number of chapters into their Blu-rays and DVDs. This one has 32 over the 132-minute running time.
Running time: 112 minutes
Released: May 7th 2012
Cat no: FCD613
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Producers: Gerhard Meixner, András Muhi and Roman Paul
Screenplay: Benedek Fliegauf
Music: Max Richter
Rebecca: Eva Green
Thomas: Matt Smith
Judith: Lesley Manville
Ralph: Peter Wight
Rebecca – 9 years: Ruby O. Fee
Thomas – 10 years: Tristan Christopher
Rose: Natalia Tena
Dima: Gina Stiebitz
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.