A group of scientists located on the International Space Station have a mission: to collect samples from Mars, seeking possible life forms. After running some tests on the crew’s most recent samples and creating a new life form, the ship and its crew begin to fear their new creation. The new life form rapidly evolves and threatens the crew as well as all life on Planet Earth.
There are 6 crew members on board…Will any live and survive? And what have the crew discovered?
Ever since Alien arrived in 1979, when seeing any film about a ship in space with a creature on board it’s hard not to think: “This is just another Alien film”. Let’s be honest here- Alien raised the bar incredibly high!
The biggest strength in LIFE is the world of SPACE. Like the film Gravity, LIFE is full of stunning visual effects and an eerie soundtrack. You will find many actors in this film floating around in space just like in Gravity. There also many clever shots as the director slowly moves the camera upside down, or smoothly zooms in to provide beautiful visuals throughout the film. The action sequences are also shot perfectly with no fault to highlight.
The scariest part of this film wasn’t the Life form on board, but for me, it was more the characters within this film.
LIFE has cast some very talented actors (Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Renynolds a few to name) but the film’s characters struggle to create a connection with its the audiences.
For examples, the character of Roy (Ryan Renynolds) is the same Ryan Reynolds character we have seen in EVERY film. You know what I mean right? The cheeky boyish man who makes wisecracks. It’s sadly nothing new. Jake Gyllenhaal who is one of my 5 all-time favourite actors also failed to deliver something memorable. To clarify it’s not bad acting- it’s just poor character development with very little back story provided.
Another issue I had with the film’s story was when characters run, panic and fight for their lives one minute, the next scene finds everyone calm, relaxed, focused and not even looking over their own shoulder anymore. It’s scenes like these that made forget that these characters were worried about a creature trying to kill them. A film with this type of plot should be a continuous suspense thrill ride for the audience members. The other fault was one of my favourite movie downers- a classic case of “professionals making poor choices in dangerous situations with extra bonus sci-fi jargon talk thrown in”.
LIFE is visually stunning and don’t get wrong- I think many who watch this will actually enjoy the movie’s ride. For me, personally, the characters and a predictable finale held this sci-fi back from reaching its full potential.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden