Sunday, 26 March 2017

Life (2017) - Film Review


Life isn't a particuarly new or even interesting film, I had not much hope for it, but it thankfully turned out to be a very fun film that does what it does very well. A really pleasant surprise and an insanely breezy and entertaining genre film.

There's obvious elements from other films, Gravity, Sunshine and most of all, Alien. It's a fairly simple B-movie concept, a team of scientists on a space station discover a new form of life that they name "Calvin", the new life form quickly becomes a vicious killer and sadistically hunts them down one by one.
Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal
Bar its surprisingly dark and nihlistic ending, Life lacks originality and is quite predictable, but at the same time it's all done extremely well due its cast, fun script and sense of urgency in some really intense scenes of space claustraphobia. Like, I said, it borrows heavily from Alien, but that doesn't mean Life doesn't stand on its own as an entertaining genre film.

The characters are underdeveloped, but the cast do a good job at bringing life to their personalities. Ryan Reynold's does his usual smart-ass routine, which works, although they go a direction with his character I did not expect. Rebecca Ferguson and Jake Gyllenhaal fare better as the stars of the film.

Rebecca Ferguson
But the real star of Life is "Calvin", who really is a terrifying force of nature. Designed to look like some sort of sea creature nightmare, almost like a jellyfish or stingray. When Calvin starts his killing spree, it really is nasty and sadistic. I did not expect the violence to be this grizzly or disturbing. 

There was some violence here that even got a reaction from me, and that honestly takes a lot. I really do hope to see a franchise based around Calvin's race. Maybe a sequel that goes in the way of Aliens and bring a lot more Calvins into the mix?

It's worth noting that there were some rumours going round that this might be a prequel to Sony's upcoming Spider-Man spin-off 'Venom'. This was complete nonsense and has nothing to do with that. The producers refusing to confirm or deny it was purely to create some sort of promotion for the film.

Life is nothing new, but it is a lot of fun, a dark, violent sci-fi horror with some really grotesque body-horror and a pleasantly surprising ending.

8/10 Dans

Life is out now in cinemas in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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