Life (2017): Movie Review
With a new "Alien" movie coming its way this year, it would be easy to dismiss "Life" as an easy pass and there's no doubt that the film borrows a lot from the "Alien" franchise. That's not such a bad thing though as "Life" was able to bring with it the same tension and horror that franchise is known for. In fact, "Life" is a different kind of beast altogether. It had a more realistic, scientific and slower approach that made its terror closer to reality.
A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station (ISS) successfully captures the out-of-control Pilgrim 7 probe with a vital Martian sample - it may contain the proof of extraterrestrial life. At first, the mission is a huge success when they are able to bring back the primitive single cell organism back to life. But the life form, named Calvin, is rapidly evolving and it is like no other organism known to man with its ability to be all muscle, all brain, and all seeing. Trapped with Calvin, the crew must find a way to stop it and kill it before Calvin manages its way to Earth.
"Life" may seem dull in its first half hour as the film takes its time to develop its plot and introduce its cast of characters. But as their situation went downhill, so did the tension exponentially rose and this is where "Life" really shined. It had us terrified out of our wits. It had us gripping our seats. It had a refreshing unstoppable extraterrestrial life form. It had a grounded and scientific approach that is closer to our current reality and closer to home. While the film failed in developing characters that we cared about and rooted for, everything else proved to be great. The directing and camera work were both outstanding. The cinematography was swift, in focus where the action was and was able to convey the suffocating and claustrophobic confines of the ISS pretty damn well. It was also able to make the set seem bigger than it was (remember this is the ISS) with well-choreographed sequences (the film's first scene is a good example of this). The acting was also exceptional and a huge part why the film was a tense-filled screener. Finally, the death scenes were shocking, to say the least, and a huge highlight for the film. Overall, "Life" was a surprising experience and one that went beyond expectations. It is a welcome addition to the sci-fi genre and hopefully, finds a way to build on the solid foundation they have with this film. We just can't wait to see more of the unstoppable Calvin.
Why you should watch it:
- it is a smart, realistic movie that will scare your pants off
- wonderful acting from the cast
Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the film takes its time and had its slow moments before things went downhill
Labels Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada, horror, Jake Gyllenhaal, Life, movie review, Olga Dihovichnaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, scifi, thriller