Ever since Ridley Scott blessed us all with Alien in 1979, the space horror genre has been one of the more entertaining genres out there. Life borrows several ideas and themes from Alien, but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. As a matter of fact, it’s a very entertaining and thrilling movie that is comprised of a great cast. There are a lot of things to like about Life.
A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.
One of the best things about Life is the cast. Led by Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler, 2014), every character has just enough depth and likability for the audience to care about them. Gyllenhaal plays David Jordan, the doctor on board the ship. He gives another fantastic performance to add to his very impressive career. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, 2016) plays Roy, the ship’s maintenance technician. As expected, he provides the film’s comic relief. Rebecca Ferguson ( The Girl on the Train, 2016) plays Miranda and is really the person in charge of the quarantine procedures, which really comes into to play as the movie progresses and the organism is evolving. The cast compliments each other well and have good chemistry throughout the film.
The pacing of Life was superb. It never felt boring. There was some good downtime for character development, which contrasted well with the edge-of-your-seat thrilling scenes. The scenes with the alien were very cool, galvanizing, and even frightening in a few scenes. The alien had a very interesting a creepy look to it as well. For it being such a simple story, Life did a good job staying interesting and thrilling.
The visual effects, sound, and the score in Life were all fantastic. The score especially had a very terrifying and creepy feel to it and added tension to some of the more vigorous scenes. The cinematography was also very good, with a very impressive one take shot at the beginning. From a production standpoint, Life was splendid.
The scenery and the violence were both vert satisfying as well. The scenery does a good job of capturing the vastness and emptiness of space, along with some awesome zero gravity scenes that added some tense moments as the alien pursued the crew throughout the ship.
The biggest issue with Life is the dialogue. Often times in movies that involve astronauts, the dialogue is smart and they tend to spew out exposition that the audience can’t even understand sometimes. In Life, it is the complete opposite of that. If I had been watching the movie with a blindfold on, I wouldn’t have guessed that the characters were astronauts and scientists. The writing felt lazy in that aspect and made it a little less believable overall.
Overall, Life isn’t super original and isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before. Its formulaic and the dialogue needed some more thought and effort. However, it is still very entertaining, well made, and the performances are fantastic. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. Go check it out in theaters.