Clone (2 stars)


Stilted science fiction psychodrama starring Matt Smith and Eva Green

Originally entitled Womb, 2010 film Clone proves to be a painfully earnest slice of sci-fi psychodrama that attempts to meld burning questions of genetic ethics with the starkness of a Greek tragedy. The clipped, stilted script often appears to have been written by someone who does not have English as a first language and the performances are equally constipated with the actors seemingly encouraged to deliver dialogue with long, meaningful pauses between the words. The whole film assumes the slightly dreamy, trance-like quality of something taking place underwater.

Fractured flashbacks capture the intense bond between the young Rebecca (Ruby O. Fee) and Tommy (Tristan Christopher). Twelve years later Rebecca (Eva Green) returns from Tokyo to look for Tommy (Matt Smith) and discovers a mutual attraction that still thrives. When he is killed in a car accident, she makes the decision to give birth to his clone and raise a son who is the genetic copy of his dead father. (Talk about a therapist's nightmare.)

Clone vaguely touches on ethical concerns about human cloning but is much more concerned with the specifics of the queasy bond between mother and son. Matt Smith's simpering performance as Tommy suggests he is simple-minded and the fact that Eva Green never ages over the course of twenty odd years is a further barrier to credibility. Péter Szatmári's atmospheric photography of brooding, steely blue skies, bleak deserted beaches and soggy autumn woods is one of the chief virtues in this misbegotten enterprise.



  • 2 stars
  • 2010
  • Germany
  • 1h 47min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Benedik Fliegauf
  • Written by: Benedik Fliegauf
  • Cast: Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville
  • UK release: 14 February 2012

Two children, Rebecca and Tommy, bond while young; 12 years later, adult Rebecca (Green) and Tommy (Smith) meet again but then he's killed in a car accident. She decides to give birth to his clone, and raise a son who's an exact copy of the father. Earnest but misbegotten sci-fi psychodrama.

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