Direction: Daniel Espinosa
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson
Rating: 1.5 / 5
Hugely derivative of Alien, this sci-fi ‘thriller’ almost sullies the legacy of Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic.
Set aboard a space station that has retrieved soil samples from Mars, Life is bogged down by an unduly verbose narrative and an overload of technical jargon.
The usual gaggle of international astronauts is initially delighted to discover evidence of a life form on the Red Planet.
Mistakenly believing the wriggly organism to be harmless, they realise soon enough that the ET, which they christen Calvin, is hostile and virtually indestructible.
The sweaty-browed six-member crew tries their utmost to fend off the beastie, even attempting at one point to nuke it with a flame-thrower.
Using a barrage of extreme close-ups, director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) strives to replicate the scares generated by scores of space-set horror flicks, but merely succeeds in repeating clichés.
As for the ‘and-then-there-were-none’ plotline, it fails to provide any emotional engagement.
It’s hard to believe that this script came from the same duo as super-sarky spin-offs Zombieland and Deadpool. Third time has certainly not been lucky for Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
The acting is, at best, serviceable. Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson glower and grimace non-stop. It is hard to fathom why Ryan Reynolds accepted what is essentially a glorified cameo.
To its credit, the film winds down with an extremely clever switcheroo designed to set the stage for a sequel. Meanwhile, Scott’s own hotly anticipated follow-up, Alien: Covenant, is slated for release this May. Here’s hoping it’s a lot more fun than this flick.
Watch: The trailer of Life