Signed up the 28/03/2017
Life is an imaginitive space film, which I've found critics and regular audiences alike comparing to the Alien franchise eversince it took form. Though I can not completely deny that the Daniel Espinosa film borrows from Ridley Scott's gruesome space sci-fi horror, I can confirm that it pulls its weight in the attempt to afford us a slightly distinctive lens as far as rogue space monsters out to annihilate humanity goes.
What's most interesting about this film is that it's setting is consistent, but the film itself never feels like a drag to get through. We're introduced to various dynamics within the space station, so much that we're able to maintain stable interest as we follow the six-member crew- as they're chased about the air-tight ship by their fervent, ruthless tormentor all-through this urgent game of cat and mouse.
The well-qualified crew are out on Mars on a pressing mission to prove the far-reaching idea that there might be extraterrestrial life on the blood-orange and dusty planet. They have in their possession precious Martian soil samples which apparently contain a life form in deep hiberbation. Their mission is to stimulate the inert organism to life- whatever it takes. This ambitious feat proves to be their worst nightmare in the end. As their research advances, they manage to bring to existence the first ever life known to Mars in the form of a jellyfish-like lifeform named Calvin. It becomes unfortunate that the first ever life that they discover on the remote planet proves far more intelligent and lethal than they could've ever predicted. The film is led by Jake Gyllenhaal (David Jordan) and Rebecca Ferguson (Miranda North), with a rather short appearance by Ryan Reynolds as Rory Adams, whom respectively offer some of their most convincing performances yet- arguably.
The suspense here is rivaling and unfolds in a manner only vehement, uncompelled, writer-director chemistry can pull off. Life somewhat serves as a capsule to us earthlings watching it, and this little theory of mine is neatly tied in towards the ending when Miranda warns Earth that if Calvin were to ever reach the planet alive, the relevant bodies should use extremely hostile measures to contain it and be rid of it as promptly as possible- as this make of creature is one of the most brutal she had ever come across or even imagined.
They should've quickly learned that more precaution should be implemented as the orgasnism quickly progressed with curiousity and acumen. "Notice how it's approaching and not retreating" to which the head researcher simply, and proudly, dismissed with "Its curiousity outraises fear". Things briskly intensify as Calvin proves that it is indeed their worst nightmare. A series of peculiar events shortly unfold. The crew is alarmed and the atmosphere is quickly fogged with urgent danger. Calvin further proves to be a feral force as he savagely feeds on the lab-rat that was encaged with him.
We're quickly introduced to the real-time dangers of being in that space station as one of the key characters is invaded by the organism, which begins to barbarously feed on him from the inside. This scene serves to be one of the key scenes in terms of cinematography; we see thick bubbles of blood circling around his floating, dying, body as Calvin finishes him off. Calvin shortly cracks itself out of the dead body a bigger and stronger threat to the remaining crew members- whom are now rattled and distressed.
Life is a film which deserves more praise than it has gotten. The suspense is well-written. Character development is in place. And the plot doesn't feel bland or over-done as you'd assume.
The re-entry scene where David and Calvin land in the middle of the sea in a canister, and are quickly discovered by the fishermen, is an obvious set-up for a sequel. And it says a lot about the film that we're left wanting to witness a franchise unfold out of Life.
I will close with my favourite line from the film; "Life's very existence requires destruction".
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