Director: Daniel Espinosa
Writers: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson
I absolutely love a good sci-fi thriller. Alien and Aliens are two of my all-time favorite movies – not just in the genre, but in general. Watching Life, it’s obvious that writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (fresh off of their smash hit, Deadpool) are big Alien fans, as well. The only problem is that Life isn’t nearly as well written or executed, despite the deep roster of talented actors they have at their disposal – Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Hiroyuki Sanada, etc, etc.
The movie is about the group of astronauts/scientists responsible for intercepting and observing the first lifeform found on Mars. From there, things go predictably downhill.
The movie works well enough right up until the first kill. After that, the movie devolves into a fairly by-the-numbers, less intelligent Alien rip-off. The alien itself is a bit creepy but is nothing compared to the terrifying face-huggers and xenomorphs of the Alien franchise. There’s also no single character that serves as our eyes and ears, which only helps in distancing the audience from the experience.
Hats off to director, Daniel Espinosa, for having the movie take place entirely in zero-gravity. Sadly, outside of this style choice, his penchant for bland direction really flattens the picture out.
I judge movies a lot by how re-watchable they are. With that said, I can’t see myself circling back to Life unless I completely forget how bland and largely unoriginal it was. It has a few suspenseful moments, but all in all, there’s very little memorable bits to it. Might as well just watch Alien again…