Life – review

A team of astronauts stationed at ISS have been tasked with determining if the dust found on Mars is actually evidence of life. Er … yes as this dust is actually alive and ends up wanting to eat your face off.

The word that springs to mind is derivative, the posters, the trailer everything about Life has been done before, a big helping of Alien (it even has the same title card wide letters),  a fair amount of Gravity, a sprinkle of The Thing, and even half the plot from an episode of Firefly. It is all here, but, with enough blood, increasingly ratcheted tension, nice shots of space/earth/space stations and a decent cast make this entirely watchable, if not memorable.

The alien starts off as an aggressive Haribo that is a choke hazard and turns into something of a space squid. It works, as it is threatening and different enough from the Xenomorph to stand on its own. There are a few scenes of quite gruesome body horror. That manage to be memorable, a crushing handshake being one.

While there isn’t much character development, Ryan Reynolds is his usual self, Jake Gyllenhaal is a bit weird and Rebecca Ferguson has moral fibre and a funny accent.

The film starts with the characters making right decisions and as it progresses the decision making gets progressively worse, adding an increasing number of sci-fi horror cliches. We won’t have much of a story without these choices however. The alien is introduced pretty quickly so the story starts ticking over pretty fast.

If you enjoy space disaster movies you will find yourself enjoying Life, just don’t expect any new ideas.