Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Life (2017)


Summary: A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars and now threatens all life on Earth.
The Cast/Acting. There are only six characters in this movie, seven if you count the alien “Calvin”. All of the actors are good in their roles, I mean, they’re all the usual kind of roles for a movie like this. Jake Gyllenhaal as Dr. David Jordan, he’s the medical officer and the one whose been in space the longest, and he’s willing to make some hard choices for the sake of the group or the earth. Rebecca Ferguson as Dr. Miranda North, the quarantine officer, her job is to make sure that they keep in whatever they find, to make sure they don’t fail and if they do, she has a protocol.  Ryan Reynolds as Rory Adams, the flight engineer, he’s the one who had the job to bring Calvin aboard the station and he’s the wise cracking one, as Reynolds always is. I also would assume he was the youngest of the group. Hiroyuki Sanada as Sho Murakami, the systems engineer, and the one with the most to lose in that his wife just had a baby. I like this guy, I normally like him and he’s the only one who we actually get to know a bit more about. Ariyon Bakare as Dr. Hugh Derry, the exobiologist and it’s his job to learn about the alien and what makes it tick. He’s the first one hurt by it, and they try to learn more about it because of that. Lastly, Olga Dihovichnaya as Ekaterina Golovkina, she is the mission commander and she tries to keep her group safe by making the hard choices. I mean, all of the acting is fine, and that helps considering how bland the characters actually are, which I will go into more later. If they were played by lesser actors, I would really be upset.
The Suspense/Tension. Life is very good at making me freak out, or wonder what’s going to happen next. Is Calvin (the creature) gonna show up around that corner? Is it going to find some way into their room? I also don’t like scary stuff, so I was anxious because I didn’t want to be scared lol, but I was tense while watching. I thought it did that very well if anything.
The Creature. Gross. Scary. As it evolved, it got worse, in how it looked. In the things it could do. It was scary. I’ve never really seen Alien but I’m sure this movie was inspired that in some way, as well as Gravity. Being locked in space with a creature. I think it was very intimidating that you couldn’t help but wonder each time someone went around a corner, if it would be there.
The Twist. So there is a twist in the movie. I think it’s a bit easy to see coming, or to probably consider it happening this way, but I thought it was a very effective and cool twist. We expected it but it didn’t make it any more shocking in the end.
The Use of Space. With a contained movie like this, it can be a bit hard to make it seem believable that these people have such a limited place to go. Director Daniel Espinosa, makes great use of the contained area and the fat that these characters are in space. The way he shows their space station, and how they move about it, was really cool. I felt like I was up there with them.
Bland Characters. The acting is fine, I think. But the characters are just the typical characters we see in this situation. They are meant to serve a specific purpose in the film and that’s about it. I think the actors do what they can, and they do enough to at least make me want them to survive but if someone dies, I don’t particularly care because we don’t know them. They talk a lot and we learn things about them through their exposition but we don’t know anything about them. There’s really only one person, we learn enough about and I cared about him because the movie did.
Predictable. While this movie does have a lot of tension in it, I do think it’s very predictable in what’s going to happen, who things are going to happen too and what the outcomes will be. We were doing a lot of guess-work and we weren’t wrong while watching. So I think if anyone is expecting any surprises, you won’t find that here in this movie.
Stupid Character Choices. I feel like I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately that has a lot of stupid characters making stupid choices but if someone tells you NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR… THEN DON’T OPEN THE DOOR! Stuff like that, is how things get messed up and why trouble happens. There is a creature in your midst that has a mind of its own… don’t be dumb and enable it to be free. I’m a curious person by nature, to my imaginative brain, but there is a limit to my curiosity because of danger. If you see a foreign object, even if it’s from space… don’t open the door. Ugh. It was just mistake, upon mistake and it was annoying. You guys are astronauts, I know you’re trained for this (as someone tells us in the beginning) but be smarter.
Overall, Life is an experience that is probably better if you’ve seen the movies it’s inspired from. It has a chance to stand on its own in that the creature is scary, and the movie does have a lot of tension in it, the acting is good and solid and the use of space and the contained environment helps build upon what makes this movie so nerve-wracking. However, the characters are extremely bland and they make such stupid choices that it doesn’t make sense for them all to be so smart in their fields but so dumb. It’s also very predictable, that while the twist was a good one, we saw it coming from a mile away. It’s generic and forgettable but it was a fun ride.
Rating: 3.29 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Life? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!
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