Movie Title: Life
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 44 min.
Who did I watch with?: Stephie
Where did I watch it?: Home
Life opens with meteorites damaging an important space capsule en route to the International Space Station. Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) goes out to retrieve the capsule. We don’t get to see the retrieval of the capsule as the director opted for an internal shot with a lot of stereotypical babble. Inside the first set of samples Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare) tests he finds a large single celled organism that is in a state of suspension. After fiddling with it for a short period of time it reanimates back to an active state.
After naming the newly discovered life form Calvin it rapidly evolves. The movie tries to build the menace of Calvin and make it seem ominous. At first this is largely unsuccessful, but at about the thirty minute mark things get real awfully quick. The movie also tries to build up the characters during this stretch of time. We find out all kinds of trivial details we couldn’t care less about and in this regard it ends up being surprisingly successful. With the characters being as vanilla as they are it creates an every man quality to them. As Calvin threatens their lives and all of humanity it truly feels like something is at stake.
Life is a combination of Alien and Gravity and mimics both well. Aside from some really murky character motivations that are almost inconceivable the movie generates genuine terror. The movie is surprisingly brave in the way that it has no issue doing away with character at surprising moments. Some of the deaths are pretty creative. The end has a nice trompe l’oeil that you will probably see coming, but is a pretty cool way to wrap it all up.
Life wants to be Alien. It isn’t Alien, but I would let it hold Alien’s jock strap. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: The Polka King (2017)