Review: Life



Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Duration: 103 Minutes
Language: English
India Release Date: 24-MAR-2017
Pick-D-Flick Rating: 3.5 on 5 (An Intense Sci-Fi Thriller)

Six astronauts aboard the space station study a sample collected from Mars that could provide evidence for extraterrestrial life on the Red Planet. The crew determines that the sample contains a large, single-celled organism – the first example of life beyond Earth. But..things aren’t always what they seem. As the crew begins to conduct research, and their methods end up having unintended consequences, the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.

Overall Review:
Arrival, Gravity, The Martian, Interstellar and now “LIFE”, comes straight from the writing team behind DEADPOOL, and director Daniel Espinosa of SAFE HOUSE and CHILD 44. Life is a heart pounding sci-fi film borrowing heavily from Ridley Scott’s Alien. What is apparent from the very beginning of Life is the level of energy and commitment shown by both cast and crew. Visually it is a masterpiece. Everything looks life-like and organic. The alien (CALVIN) life-form looks incredible, it is very unique. The movie is beautifully shot, and edited, it is coherent as a whole, and has a great momentum. It is a well paced film and at no stage does the story stall. Film relishes those kills, lingering on shots of the alien organism striking, attaching, and sucking LIFE out of these astronauts who are being heralded for making history. Never before has a movie paid so much attention to how drops of blood would behave in an atmosphere of microgravity. Its good to keep any expectations low as LIFE has its own negative side but despite its flaws, its strengths make them almost forgivable, if not forgettable. All in all, LIFE is a no-nonsense space thriller. Keeping minor stupidities aside, it succeeds in delivering a thrilling, suspenseful piece of entertainment.

Performance & Technical Review:
The strength of the movie lies in its cast. Jake Gyllenhaal as the reclusive Dr David Jordan is the undeniable star. As he recalls his days serving in the military and cites this as his reason for not wanting to return back to Earth — his muscles are beginning to atrophy from spending too much time in space — Gyllenhaal exudes vulnerability and anguish. The film’s international cast — Hiroyuki Sanada, Dihovichnaya, and Bakare — turn in delightful performances, each holding their own in the ensemble caper. Rebecca Ferguson (of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation fame) as Miranda North is a commanding presence as well. Technical-wise, the seamless special effects by Industrial Light & Magic is top-notch while Seamus McGarvey’s cinematography is both gorgeous and visually engaging..The creature effects are also worth noting here, which started off as a single-celled lifeform before it gradually mutated into a starfish-like alien being that possesses strong grips with a level of otherworldly intelligence. As for the screenplay, LIFE is as straightforward as it goes. Reese and Wernick certainly honour the classical setup, pacing as well as the story beat of ALIEN.

PDF Verdict:
LIFE proves to be more satisfying and gripping than it seems on the surface. Much like CALVIN (Alien) himself, this space thriller is not to be underestimated. It remains adequate enough as a suspenseful genre picture with arresting visuals and an attractive cast.

Pick-D-Flick Rating: 3.5 on 5 (An Intense Sci-Fi Thriller)
Performance: 3.5 on 5
Script: 3 on 5
Music / Background Score: 3 on 5
Production Designs: 3.5 on 5

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