The Fly (1986) Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

The Fly is one of those films that starts out reasonably well but once the whole fly aspect enters the film then it starts to stumble quite a bit. The fly angle takes a while to show up but you wish it didn’t and instead just kept going as an interesting sci-fi drama. I suppose you couldn’t call the film “The Fly” at that point though so you’d need a new name.

The movie starts off with Ronnie at a party where she is trying to get a scoop on the latest inventions. Unfortunately there is nothing here that’s very interesting. A mysterious guy named Seth shows up and informs her that he has one of the greatest inventions of all time. She has to come to his place to see it though since he wants to keep this a secret. Ronnie agrees and it turns out that he has created a teleportation device. This is revolutionary but the issue is he can’t teleport people yet, only objects. Ronnie figures this is good enough to report on so she ignores Seth’s wishes and quickly tells her boss Stathis. Stathis doesn’t believe her though. Seth asks her to hold off this time until he perfects it and she agrees, but will this invention actually end up changing the world?

Seth’s certainly a genius to come up with this invention, that’s for sure. He is quite greedy in wanting to wait until it has been perfected though as just teleporting objects would already be huge. Think of how you could move food around, supplies, etc. You would really change the world in no small way. It goes without saying that any kind of teleportation device in the real world would be absolutely massive.

Unfortunately the dark history of this invention quickly starts to become apparent. For one thing, Seth was running experiments on animals which is as unethical as it gets. You should never experiment on animals or any sentient life. Stick to plants and then if you have to go further, voluntary humans who know the risks, but not innocent animals. At that point Seth was already too far gone to be saved.

We then see that he is quite petty and head strong as he goes through the invention just because he was upset at Ronnie potentially being with someone else. I mean, she made it clear that she was ending an old affair so if he just doesn’t believe her then their relationship was never going to work anyway. Seth’s just not a great guy and this ends up being his undoing. Everything that happens to him in the film is a direct result of actions he took.

Naturally that takes us to the Fly aspect of the film. It seems to affect his emotions almost immediately as he won’t listen to reason and starts rambling a lot. It’s unfortunate because this prevents him from actually realizing the issue here and how to correct it. His computer seems exceptionally advanced so I like to think there would have been an easy way to reverse the process otherwise. Just retool the settings to remove the fly dna or something like that. If it can be merged so quickly it could probably be separated as well. One idea I had was to merge with a fly repellant which could do the trick here. A side effect is maybe you could shoot out bursts of raid.

In the end though, I just didn’t like Seth. Whether it was the Fly dna or not, he was just completely unreasonable. Once he became the Fly he becomes your classic horror villain who just wants to cause carnage and destruction. He’s quite selfish in his motivations at the end and his final plan just doesn’t make sense. He was simply too far gone at that point to really go back.

Then you have Ronnie who is an okay heroine but not as good as she could be. For starters it was iffy that she was going to run to the paper and exploit Seth’s research when he asked her not to. Sure she was expecting a story but maybe she could negotiate something instead of just burning that bridge right away. If he did end up changing history so drastically, wouldn’t you want to be on his side for that? It doesn’t seem like a smart move to make him your enemy.

Finally you have Stathis who is an annoying character the whole time. He used to have an affair with Ronnie and never got over her after they broke up. He follows and pesters her the entire movie and even resorts to blackmail. The film tries to show him as more of a hero by the end but it’s just way too late for that. I’m glad he stepped up and tried to help but in no way does that make him a good character.

The film certainly had an issue with the romance throughout though. It just wasn’t very good. It was all rushed and not all that realistic. The whole time you know it’s just moving way too fast and again, Seth was way too quick to get jealous. He just didn’t trust her which is a huge red flag. That’s not really what destroys the movie though. It’s just how gross the film is and it also manages to throw in some animal violence.

We see what goes wrong when an animal is put in the machine and you have to remember that Seth knew exactly what would happen since he had done this before and only did it again to show Ronnie the effects. That means he destroyed another animal for no reason. It’s certainly a rough way to go out too as the whole procedure looks really painful. Then you have his transformation into the Fly and how he has to vomit on everything. It’s a form of acid that also works as an attack but it’s certainly not a fun one to look at. The film really prioritizes being as gross as possible over the actual story.

Overall, The Fly is a film that you should definitely skip. It can’t quite match up to the original version which is what you should watch instead. This one just goes too far with all of the imagery and throwing in the animal was completely unnecessary. The concept is interesting and you can make a good film out of that but you would definitely need a full redesign of the Fly itself which would be a good starting point.

Overall 2/10

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