LIFE Review: 5 out of 10 (Universally Unoriginal)
If ARRIVAL was the thinking person's science fiction film, LIFE is its bizarro companion. A sci-fi film that not only asks its audience to be dumb, but makes sure all of the characters on screen are too. Typically, that means in this genre that people get eaten by space monsters.
Yeah... pretty much.
LIFE is the latest sci-fi action film directed by Daniel Espinosa and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds. The film tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. Retrieving a soil sample from the planet, they discover a single cell organism that is "all muscle, all eye, all brain." As the crew begins to conduct research, the organism (now named "Calvin" cause we think aliens should be cute) begins to evolve and grow quickly. Then the following happens:
- Really smart people make really dumb decisions.
- One scientist thinks the space monster is cute and risks everyone cause reasons.
- Security protocol is completely ignored despite having a security protocol officer.
- Space human buffet is *Now Open*... Death and stuff...
- Oh, well, guess we are all gonna die. I give up...WAIT I HAVE AN IDEA AT THE LAST MINUTE!
LIFE isn't original or interesting. If there is anything new to be had here it is the occasional philosophical ponderings of all the smart people as they await their fate. Unfortunately, those are some of the most boring scenes the film offers. Further, "Calvin" isn't particularly interesting either. As space monsters go, this multi-celled slowly growing organism is little more than a space squid. Calamari anyone? Gyllenhaal is wasted here as a too-long-in-space doctor and Reynolds is little more than a wise-cracking space cowboy. Rebecca Ferguson, too, seems wasted delivering hack dialogue in this trapped in space B movie. (Make that more like a C or D.) There are a few thrills and some gross out moments with the space squid and the space scientists, but most of what you have here is all too familiar. This is a movie that we all have seen before...and seen done much better. LIFE ironically has very little of that to it, showing up on screen as a derivative DOA.