Keep It Reel: ‘Life’

By Marc Woodfork

Be careful what you look for, you might not like what you find.

That sums up the new Film “Life.”  The movie tells the story of astronauts who have returned to Earth orbit from Mars carrying what they believe is the very first sign of life in our solar system.  They are correct.  What begins as a single cell organism, quickly becomes the crews worse nightmare.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson. “Life” delivers on many levels.  It builds suspense with smart, creative camera work. And the actors do very well with what is a limited script and average dialogue.

But that’s not what this film is meant for.  Pure edge-of-your-seat entertainment is exactly what you get.  Visually, “Life” is extraordinary.  The CGI creature is superb and all of the outer space scenes look beautiful.  I will say, that a lot of the conventions are typical for this genre.  You may find yourself saying “I’ve seen this before” or  “I knew that was going to happen.” Yes, “Life” doesn’t re-invent the wheel. It gives audiences what they come to sci-fi horror films for.

“Life” focuses on the fright factor, which is fine.  I only hoped it would give us some characters to care about.  By that standard, it misses the mark.  You don’t really care if they all die or not.  “Life” isn’t alone in this.  There hasn’t been a sci-fi horror with characters we care about since 1986’s classic “Aliens.”

There are plot holes that the filmmakers never address that leaves the viewer asking questions at the end.  Don’t go into this expecting to be mind blown, but you will come out feeling satisfied.

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