Sunday, March 26, 2017


Movie Name: Life
Year of Release: 2017
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 3
View Trailer Here

Director Daniel Espinosa is back, following his little seen and critically maligned "Child 44", this time around, tackling a script from the successful duo of Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (the duo responsible for writing "Zombieland" and "Deadpool"). The film follows the story of a crew of 6 people, that are currently on orbit at the International Space Station. The team manages to salvage an exploratory hub that came from Mars, and much to everyone's surprise, they discover life in some of the samples that came with the hub. Initially a joyous and celebratory event, the entity quickly starts growing, and reveals itself hostile, starting to attack the crew members. It's up to the team to avoid that the creature makes it to the surface of Planet Earth.
This is a film that is ripe with potential - it tries to merge the concepts of "Alien" with the somewhat grounded approach that "Gravity" brought forth. However, it quickly becomes apparent that Ridley Scott, nor Alfonso Cuaron are at the helm of the film. This is a feature that lacks a point of view, a successful sense of menace, and ultimately something that makes it more identifiable, and not so derivative of better films. Both "Alien" and "Gravity" were without a doubt, the merger of many factors, namely design, concepts, storytelling, but they were also works from directors that manage to have a strong point of view, and embed it (with varying degrees of success) in whatever films they create. "Life" tries desperately hard to give the characters something to do, but it lacks dimension, and definitely lacks a sense of menace. The antagonist creature, as polished as it may be, looks excessively digital, and is overly visible. One of the reasons why "Alien" was so successful was precisely the fact that the audience only partially saw the menace - letting the imagination do the rest is invariably its own reward. This is a film that has a good cast, and a great production team, but definitely lacks a stronger point of view. Quickly forgettable.