Who said finding life on other planets would be a space walk? Well, in Daniel Espinosa’s violent Sci-Fi horror we find out that maybe humanity has bitten off more than we can chew.
Life tells the tale of a group of six astronauts (headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds): ‘on board the ISS in the not so distant future as they edge closer to one of he most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As members of the crew conduct their research, the rapidly evolving life-form proves far more intelligent and terrifying than any of the crew could have imagined.’
Straight off the edge of space we are introduced to each character in a very unique one shot take as the crew of the futuristic ISS prepare to dock with the rogue satellite which has been hurtling back from an Eight month mission to the Red planet.
The idea of shooting the ‘oner’ was incredibly intriguing to us as we sat forward with anticipation. Each character was introduced with their unique skills portrayed in the scene — which felt like a breathe of fresh cosmic air as, we were shown rather than told. The idea for Espinosa to open with this, was in our opinion a genius idea which was too in part melded together so effortlessly in the editing room.
Like a slowly simmering kettle, the tension is nudged at in the first act, like a jerking fishing line hurting for fish. The first act introduced us to our six characters with incredible ease, the show is helmed by our trio lead: Reynolds, Ferguson and of course Gyllenhaal.
Reynolds plays Space-Walker Roy Adams, who is the life and sole of the space station, his wit and charm is again always fun and quirky but in the more violent and tensely horrific moments Reynolds again proves to us that he can quit the loud mouth and turn the seriousness on full which has proven yet again that this guy is certainly an A-List heavy star. Kudos sir.
Gyllenhaal and Ferguson are also on awesomely top form, with Ferguson in some scenes edging out her male co-stars. We feel we can’t not talk about the pair together as they share alot of screen time with one another. Their chemistry is smartly written, with us wanting to see more from them each time. Although in parts we wish Jake had more to work with, but other than that lil spec of a nit pick, they were insanely fun to watch go up against the tension.
A worthy mention is the supporting cast, Hiroyuki Sanada (Sunshine and Logan), Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare (Rogue One) who are very well fleshed out characters who added some exceptional presence on board throughout each scene. Even though they may be unknown, they certainly voiced their persona on screen.
Life, in our opinion deserves the 15A certificated accompanied, this film is overall built on claustrophobic tension filled terror, that is in some scenes very graphically portrayed. Now we are not talking Eli Roth violence here, but there are subtle moments of violence depicted that were extremely haunting throughout.
The tension was built very uniquely and garnered one or two jumps from the audience. What we also adored is that, the overall film wasn’t relying on the over use of jump scares and loud bangs seen in many movies from the same genre. Th built up dread and fear in each act slow (in a great way) to a point where we actually wanted to shoot ourselves out to deep space to get away from it!
The overall creature design is creepy as hell — the idea that it can outsmart our characters is terrifying in itself. The use of effects is genuinely cool and it just really adds to the overall viewing throughout.
Without giving spoilers away, we need to comment on the concluding scenes in the third act and for those who have seen it, we can honestly say that it is one of the most twisted endings of 2017 yet.
Sadly we feel (and know) that this will be compared to those who have come before them like Alien, The Thing or even Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, but what we went into was an extremely bonker filled thrilled ride of action and suspense that (in a cool way) throws respect to others in the same category, is it going to win awards? Maybe not but what it will win is fans of the genre with a group rewatch factor indefinite.
Life, is in parts an extremely ballsy movie that proved to us that there are always gonna be little gems left in Hollywood. This film will (in our opinion) orbit your mind long after you leave the cinema and make you want to phone up N.A.S.A and tell them to not get in contact with E.T. anytime soon.
Out this world popcorn fun from us – 4/5. Nerd out!