Life(2017) Review

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I was hyped for this film for a while and there was also a “fan theory” that it was a prequel to the upcoming Venom film. Now I knew that wouldn’t be true at all but it still peaked my interest in getting it watched. I finally got the chance and before it started I wondered, would this finally give us a spacey horror that was decent or would it be another blend of horror and sci-fi that totally sucks like normal.

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Director – Daniel Espinosa

Writer – Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick

Stars – Hiroyuki Sanada, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ariyon Bakare.

Run Time – 104 minutes

Budget – $58 million estimated

Tagline – We Were Better Off Alone

Trivia – Ryan Reynolds intended to play the main character, however, scheduling conflicts with The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017) forced him to take a supporting part instead.

Trivia – Actress Rebecca Ferguson who plays Dr. Miranda North, British Quarantine Officer, originally turned down the role. She thought she would not live up to standards. She was nervous and scared. She told it to the producer and was advised to talk with the director of the movie Daniel Espinosa. His philosophy and ideas for the film impressed her and decided to change her decision and eventually take part in the movie.

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Six scientist/astronauts are a board the International Space Station, their job is to study some samples from Mars that a probe is bringing back. Straight off there’s a problem and it appears it’s going to be tough for them to capture the probe, luckily the cocky Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) is on hand to snap it out of space in a pretty decent CGI sequence.

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The soil samples they’ve captured contain soil samples and it’s Hugh Derry’s (Ariyon Bakare) job to study these and see what he finds. What he finds is an inert single celled organism, which greatly excites him so they name the “alien” Calvin. It eventually begins to show some signs of reacting with it’s surroundings.

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The team celebrate their discovery and we’re given some background into a couple of the characters. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a jaded Syrian war surviving medic who is about to break the record for staying in space longer than anyone else ever has. He looks knackered and I wonder why no one in charge has ordered him to come back. There’s Sho (Hiroyuki Sanada) who is missing his wife giving birth and can only watch on a tablet. Other than that everyone else is pretty bland and boring.

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Back in the research compartment Hugh is further studying the alien, he decides to jump start it so to speak and this is a massive mistake. The Alien goes mental and virtually force feeds itself to him, Rory tries to rescue him by disobeying quarantine orders from Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson)

The alien as you’d expect escapes and we’re treated to some pretty good hide and seek chases and deaths as the alien attacks everyone. What makes them pretty cool is the uniqueness of them being set in zero gravity. However this does not make them entertaining and I found myself a bit bored once the alien was unleashed despite this being where I should be most excited.

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The film does have a terrific ending that could maybe lead to more films in the future although personally I won’t be in a rush to watch them.

The Good

  • Cool looking Alien.
  • Zero gravity is a great setting.
  • The acting is pretty spot on as you’d expect.
  • Rebecca Ferguson played her part really well, which is good news given the trivia about her.
  • Some really nice gore and death scenes.
  • The Alien is not only cool looking but he’s a naughty and nasty little critter.

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The Bad

  • If the crew actually followed the rules they’d probably mostly all be alive although it’d be a boring movie!
  • Nearly every character was dull, Jake Gyllenhaal’s had the most background and in turn was the most interesting, the rest were painfully boring.
  • Maybe it says more about me than the film but I had no sympathy for any of the characters, there wasn’t a single one I was hoping would survive. I was firmly on the aliens side throughout.

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This film has some nice effects and looks very pretty. The alien is a cool design and watching everyone float around was a unique experience but once again this falls into the disappointing sci-fi horror genre. There’s so much potential for crossing over space and horror yet it hardly ever works, looks like this genre was perfected with Alien in 1979 and has never been matched. I was disappointed with this but it’s worth noting that a few of my Twitter followers enjoyed it. This just wasn’t for me and at times I was really bored watching.

I could have scored this film much higher if they had some more interesting characters. I’d have liked more build up before the first alien attack, that way it would have led to a fast paced finish to the film and I’d have actually cared about the characters. The ending was really good though.

Overall Rating – 4.5/10

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4 thoughts on “Life(2017) Review

  1. Well, it’s a B-movie with A-list actors… what else to say. I only wonder why Ep
    Gyllenhall and Reynolds agreed to film there.

    The ending was surprising though, it doesn’t happen often in Hollywood.

    Like

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