Life tells the story of an international space crew that discovers life on Mars.
If anything, this film can easily be compared to Ridley Scott’s Alien, and it definitely takes a lot of inspiration from the film and creates something new out of it. It’s a science-fiction film that makes your heart pound and raises the tension, especially after the first death where it really starts to kick off, however, it does annoyingly take a while to get there. There’s absolutely nothing about this film that will make you feel relaxed or even in awe of space.
The alien itself, named Calvin, is brutally disgusting at times, especially when it takes a life and completely overwhelms its victim, destroying them from the inside out in some cases. A suggestion is not to eat before watching Life.
The characters are very real, which is a breath of fresh air, and the choices they make would be decisions that we, as the audience, would make if we were in that situation, though it can be guaranteed that some would be more fearful than others. In saying this — it may turn some audiences away in wanting something more fantastical like Gravity or Interstellar, but that’s what makes it brilliant in its own way, the way something like Arrival did at the end of last year.
One of the main marketing issues that should be noted is the advertisement of Ryan Reynolds being more apart of the film than he actually was — he’s on the poster, doing all the interviews with Jake Gyllenhaal, and the third name to appear in the credits yet he was the first to die with hardly enough of a role to realise his comedic skill. In total, he was in the film approximately for twenty minutes.
This can be reasoned down to the decisions made by the characters and how each choice has its consequences throughout the rest of the film, something director Daniel Espinosa has done extremely well in keeping the characters very much grounded. Either way, the marketing team behind the film really did use Reynolds in drawing more people into the cinema.
Life really gives, well, Life back into the science-fiction genre and sets itself apart from the other films of the genre Hollywood has been churning out in recent years. For a long time, it felt like the originality was gone in the genre but it has certainly started coming back. Though it’s far from perfect, it’s still a standout film, even amongst other releases in the cinema currently and gives a very human touch to such a fantastical experience at the cinema.