The man who gave me my ticket for “Life” said: “I didn’t even know this just came out.” I told him: I think the filmmakers wanted to avoid competition with “Alien Covenant” in May. So I guess you could call this movie lubricant.” But “Life” sucks, as it is nothing more than a boring, generic, and uninteresting debacle featuring one mistake after another. I’m not talking about the editing process; I’m talking about the directions the characters go in.
As the film begins, a group of astronauts and scientists (Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, and Ariyon Bakare) in the International Space Station are set to retrieve a probe from Mars, which contains samples of life. The specimen they discover is basically a combination of nerve and muscle cells, and after a number of experiments and observations, it grows bigger and goes rogue on the ship.
It crushes Bakare’s hand, rips Reynolds’ insides, drowns Dihovichnaya in her space suit, and the more it kills, the bigger and deadlier it gets. An example of the mistakes the characters makes is how NASA sends a ship to push the space station away to prevent the alien from reaching Earth, and Sanada failing that plan by placing the alien in the other ship. I could barely get a clear view of that, so I’m not sure if I am explaining it to you clearly. And Spoiler Alert: the alien makes its way to Earth, and now, we’re screwed.
A lot of the special effects are very good, while some fail to impress me. It’s cool to see the characters float in the ship, and the alien is only good when it starts looking like seaweed mixed with jellyfish colors. Other times like blood and water kind of look cheesy. Like “Passengers” from last December, “Life” has the potential to look good, and yet provide so little.
How about the characters and their persona? I can barely follow or care about them. Most of the dialogue, at least to me, is flat and uninspired; so flat that I could care less about their goals and ambitions. All I’ve gotten out of them is Gyllenhaal preferring life in Space over Earth, and Sanada having a baby back on Earth. The rest left me feeling sort of empty. As lubricant for the upcoming “Alien: Covenant,” which I’m sure will be much better, “Life” is made for sissies. It may be R-rated, but it really isn’t as that violent or enthralling, and I didn’t see it for the violence. I’m just glad it isn’t as slithery as I was worried it would be.