WALTER: ‘Life’ falls short of classic sci-fi status
April 3, 2017
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Being a huge fan of science fiction movies and of space, I had really high hopes for Life, but the movie really failed to be memorable. The movie, after all, stars two of the hottest actors right now: Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds. Plus, with how good the space movies have been the past few years – with movies like Interstellar and The Martian – I thought Life would be up to par with the rest.
I really enjoyed all the actors’ performances but the real standouts are, of course, Jake Gyllenhaal as doctor David Jordan and Rebecca Ferguson as crew captain Miranda North. Ryan Reynolds is good, but his role isn’t much of a departure from who he is in real life.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the look of the alien in the trailers for the movie, but after seeing the movie and seeing the full transformation of Calvin, I actually really enjoyed what he turned into. It was like a cross between Ripley from Alien and a weird tentacle creature.
Director Daniel Espinosa guides this film really well, but I think what lets this film down is the script, written by Deadpool and Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Espinosa really does get great performances from everyone on the crew, just because they all have a unique dynamic and great chemistry together.
A few of the big things I really like about Life is that they do an incredible job with the visuals and camerawork to make you feel like you are really there in space and that they didn’t shoot it in a giant green screen studio.
The wire work they did with the actors creates really fluid and realistic space movements.
One thing Life does do really well is create the feeling of constant tension throughout the entire movie, while also adding some brutal and violent deaths from some of the crew members. My heart was racing and I actually found myself sweating multiple times.
Life is definitely not without its flaws. Like I mentioned earlier, the dialogue feels way out of place for the movie the director was trying to make, from what I can tell. Life alludes to some of the themes present in The Thing and Alien, but it borrows a little bit too much, failing to really offer a new take to the space-horror genre.
In the end, after thinking about Life for a bit, I realized that this movie really suffers from its incoherent script and dumb decisions the characters make in order to just purely move the plot forward. That is not to say that you will not have a good time at the theaters with Life.
It’s… entertaining. The film sports a star cast but just fails to provide an innovative and new version. It simply does not stand out from the well-crafted, classic sci-fi movies made before it.