An Alien rip off or something more about...Life?
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Length: approx. 103 minutes
Genre: Science Fiction Horror
Having first checked the official trailer, I kept thinking Life looks vaguely similar to Alien but after viewing the movie I must say it does stand on it's own quite well with inspiration from the classic and maybe even more so Prometheus. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, known for his work on Safe House (featuring Ryan Reynolds) and Child 44, brings home a tense, riveting, exciting and frightening outer space thriller that will leave you breathless by the end.
Without spoiling the movie, the story is about a international space station crew who discover an alien life sample from Mars and bring the species onto the ship for evaluation. While initially the life form is friendly, it begins to act malevolent and violent towards the crew, while in the process growing larger in size. What had previously had been a mission about studying possible extraterrestrial life on the red planet, turns into a fight to save theirs.
Note to self: aliens have always been bad news in almost every movie you see (except ET, Paul and the awesome Mac and Me). It's simple, never mess with a life form from outer space - has anyone seen Aliens? I guess this lot never got the memo.
The choices the crew makes are all real life and death, it's the kind you'd probably take in this type of mission. Do you save a member from an attack or do you keep to protocol? Tough call. They're all, obviously, trained and skilled in their respective position, so they'd know their roles and limitations, which is what makes their decision making feel so real.
The alien life form, which begins as an organism, is a beast!! Truly a beast. Once it begins to retaliate and attack, it doesn't stop. Almost like a Terminator; unrelenting and remorseless. The CGI is fantastic by the way, the creature looks frikkin crazy!!
Every actor does their job superbly, without trying to steal the show, despite the A-list cast. 'Mr Deadpool and Buried Alive' Ryan Reynolds is at his wisecracking best as engineer Rory Adams, while Jake Gyllenhaal, as doctor David Jordan, does the serious crew member to a tilt. Veteran Japanese actor, Hiroyuki Sanada, who horror fans might recognise from the Japanese Ringu 1 & 2, does a beautiful job of playing a character whose wife has just given birth back on Earth, his fight is real and has so much at stake to stay alive. Belarusian actress Olga Dihovichnaya, in her first mainstream American production, is going to be the one to watch out for in the future, even if she is 36 years old. Her character would risk her life for her people, no matter the cost. And then there is captain Dr. Miranda North, played to perfection by Irish actress Rebecca Ferguson, who has her orders from Space Control to obey and is always in two minds about following them. But my personal favourite character is biologist Hugh Derry, played by British actor Ariyon Bakare (Rogue One, Jupiter Ascending). He brings a lot out of elegance and class to the role and the one who knows more about the alien organism than anyone on board.
I really dug the film. It was smartly done, made you become invested in the characters and care for their plight and also featured one helluva of a smart yet vicious alien life form. Like mentioned previously, it's tense and frightening and leaves you hanging for more. And that ending will blow you away. Highly recommended.
Written by Matt.
Ignore all the rumours that this is a Venom movie. I can assure you it's not.
Peter and Connor from Mild Fuzz also saw Life - one of them loved it and the other hated it.
You might be surprised to find out who wasn't a fan.