MPAA Rating: R
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
Runtime: 104 Mins
What It Is: Life is a sci-fi thriller about a team of scientists on board the International Space Station whose initial mission of discovery quickly descends into primal fear as they find a rapidly evolving life form from Mars, which not only threatens the crew, but also life on Earth.
What We Think: While Calvin was asleep for hundreds of years a rover was sent to go get him for him to be blasted into space and then examined by the six-person crew on board the International Space Station. Once there, they warm him up, cool him down and poke and prod and still, he shows a lack of movement or interest in breaking from his hibernation.
However, once it reaches an Earth-like state Calvin decides it’s time to wake up and not only that but he is growing at a rapid pace and seems quite angry by crushing the hand of one of the scientists. They then discover not only is he growing but he is a lot more advanced than they gave him credit but what do you expect when you start to prod an unknown life form!
The film does seem to flirt with the old age question of ‘what is life’? with one excited crew member saying, ‘we’re going to learn so much about life, it’s origin, it’s nature, maybe even its meaning’. However, it only skims the surface of the bigger questions and instead, it’s simply about an octopus looking thing chasing humans around an increasingly small tin can.
Most of the things that do go wrong in the film are because someone breaks protocol and surely you would expect people of this intelligence to be a little more rigid with the rules rather than trying things out.
Life is a tense film I will admit to that but it’s overly contrived and if Alien is a fresh pizza, this is the re-heated version at 3 pm the next day, it is edible but the taste has gone.
Our Grade: D-, Overall, I have to give it a D but almost to a C- because even though I was never bored at all, it offered nothing inventive or original. It could clearly never really break free from the clutches of Alien and Gravity. Despite it being aesthetically pleasing thanks to the excellent photography of Seamus McGarvey (We Need to Talk About Kevin) this wasn’t enough to really hold the film together and I had little emotional investment in any of the characters.