Thursday, November 22, 2018

Life (2017)

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Writers: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

Composer: Jon Ekstrand

Starring: Hiroyuki Sanada, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Fergusson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Olga Dykhovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Be careful what you search for.

Plot: 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.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Nope.

I remember seeing the trailer early on and thinking it looks like an ALIEN (1979) ripoff.  Now that I've seen it, I can say without doubt that I liked it better when it was called ALIEN (1979).  I gave it the usual suspension of disbelief but it's a stretch.  The big jump in buying into this is that you're to believe a single cell organism from Mars, with the right mixture of oxygen and hydrogen (you know, air) and whatever else causes this thing to grow incredibly fast.  It consumes the only living thing on the space station (a lab rat) before growing even larger and killing and feeding off of the human crew, one by one.  Not only that, it is super intelligent.  Not bad for having such a small start in life and with only hours (perhaps as much as 2-3 days) of growth.  That's the biggest hurdle your thinking brain has to overcome.  It makes it harder still that this takes place in Earth's orbit and it's otherwise more grounded in reality.  Except for the other bullshit like the organism knocking out communication with Earth and the astronauts having to "bypass" or "override" a satellite or some mumbo jumbo typical computer-y bullshit.  You know the kind.  It's an easy out but things don't always work out for these unlucky few.

There is a lot that is derivative of other science fiction horror movies and it only sometimes gets in the way of the storytelling.  As a piece of entertainment, it's pretty good but the weight of the issues above gets in the way sometimes and drags it down.  The thing is the acting is fine, the score, effects, pacing, et al, are done well enough to serve the film.  The problem is in the story.  It's not real enough to be taken seriously but it's also not bad enough to qualify as cheesy popcorn fun.  However, the tail end of the picture was great despite my realizing it earlier than I should've.  It's maybe worth a look but don't get too excited about it. 

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