Life (2017)

I will never not be amazed at how some movies just… sneak past me. Like sure, movies come out all the time and sometimes I’m just not paying attention, but how did a movie from 5 years ago starring Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal and Mr. Ryan Reynolds slip by? And it’s a sci-fi horror? This feels like an intentional slight and I will not stand for it.

Life is about a team of astronaut scientists who find alien life in a Mars soil sample. The “astronaut” portion of their description is important because they’re doing all this on the ISS, far above Earth. Bad decisions of course lead to the alien life not only growing, but becoming hostile to the humans. You would think the black guy is going to be the first to die, but Ryan Reynolds was busy filming The Hitman’s Bodyguard so they killed him off a lot quicker than most would’ve anticipated. In the end Gyllenhaal sacrifices his life by throwing himself and the alien deep into space while Rebecca Ferguson takes a pod to Earth to warn humanity… but fate fucks both of them. She gets flung screaming into deep space while Jake lands on Earth with the alien, presumably causing our extinction. Then “Spirit in the Sky” plays over the credits which kinda ruins the vibe.

Trust me, I can list so many dumb decisions this movie makes… and I will! Electroshocking an alien lifeform that appears to have some level of intelligence was a horrible idea. Ariyon Bakare’s character grows way too attached to Calvin–oh, yeah, kids on Earth got to name the alien–for someone who needs to remain objective. A blowtorch on a space station sounds like an utter disaster, Gyllenhaal’s sacrifice is telegraphed from one of the first scenes we have with him, and I get that this is based on a real life space station, but there are a disturbing lack of airlocks for a team that was looking for alien life. Seriously, if there was an airlock adjacent to the lab, the problem would’ve been solved nearly instantly.

But with that out of the way, I didn’t hate the movie. The CG wasn’t offensive, the alien looked pretty cool for a Martian starfish-squid–complete with almost getting a sinister looking face at the end–and the actors all were real good. For a movie that is heavily inspired by Aliens, I rather enjoyed it.

See? Not everything I watch is absolute garbage! Sometimes I shrug and give a film thumbs up!

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