“Life” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

25 March, 2017

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Screenwriters: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Director of Photography: Seamus McGarvey
Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson

Synopsis: A group of astronauts working on the International Space Station begin conducting experiments on a cell specimen they have received from Mars, making fascinating discoveries about extra-terrestrial life before events take a turn for the worse.

Life Review:

A swivelly space horror about a Martian with an unruly mean streak, “Life” is a film built on the drive to exist in a fictional crisis where incompatible species fight for their right to stay alive. Inane and often foolish, the movie hurtles into B-Movie territory far too early with the arrival of Calvin; the film’s prime McGuffin and resident extra-terrestrial who takes rather unhappily to his newly confined existence, benefiting from the irrational decisions of ISS crew members who jeopardise their own safety through a series of disastrous quarantine errors.

Following the route established by Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” the film makes little effort to find inspiration in old plotting as its tale of uncontrollable savagery is explained away through an alien lifeform’s insatiable appetite for destruction and control. Putting survival instinct at the forefront of the film’s major predicament, the writers opt for dread over depth, styling the action so that death is at the very forefront of all that the ironically-titled movie has to offer for its humble viewers as the film’s driving element swiftly eradicates its potential to explore new avenues.

Despite the power of the its gloomy ending, which rivals final punch landmarks like “Planet of the Apes” and “Saw” for biggest pre-credit jaw drop, “Life” uses its closing shock to convince viewers that a bleak future is better than an uncertain one as a looming apocalypse strikes through the atmosphere and reminds us of our own fragility in the face of certain extinction. It’s a shame that the movie finds little time to further evolve its monster as the tentacled squid who stalks the six astronauts feels like an amoeba in comparison to Scott’s ferocious alien who dominated the sub-genre before she ever stepped foot on soil.


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