If you need to scare yourself silly, “Life” just may be the movie to see.
“Life,” which was released on March 24, deals with the idea of life beyond Earth. It follows the story of six astronauts who are on a mission to retrieve dust samples from Mars. Among the customary collection, a single-celled organism is found. Though it seems it would be exciting to find concrete proof of life on the red planet, things go awry when it starts trying to kill the humans involved.
In the film, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station know they must do everything in their power to control the hostile organism and not let it get to Earth. By improvising materials on board and their knowledge of the station, they engage in a battle of wits with the creature, not only for the sake of their own lives, but also of the lives of those back on Earth. Calvin, the name this alien creature is eventually given, is a worthy adversary. It observes and makes use of its surroundings to aid in its hunting of the crew members and its attempts to hitch a ride down to Earth.
The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Dr. David Jordan, a senior medical officer, and Ryan Reynolds as Rory “Roy” Adams, an engineer. Rebecca Ferguson, known for her role in 2016’s “The Girl on the Train,” also stars as Dr. Miranda North, a quarantine officer who works closely with David to fend off Calvin as it gains strength. The film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada as the International Space Station captain, Ariyon Bakare as a biologist and Olga Dihovichnaya as commander of the crew of the station.
“Life” combines science, suspense and strange ways to die to make a film that will appeal to fans of many genres. Through the use of inventive cinematography and believable performances from each and every actor, the story really comes to life. While one might be tempted to roll their eyes at yet another movie about a space expedition gone wrong, this film is different enough to still be able to capture people’s attention.
While “Life’ plays on a common sci-fi trope, its writing makes it seem like a fresh idea. The movie also gives a unique interpretation of how aliens might look, and how life on Mars might appear. Spoiler: It isn’t green. The film also includes enough moments of vulnerability from the characters to humanize them and make them likable. “Life” has a score that is perfectly matched to the movie’s events, surprising moments and an ending many won’t see coming. In a sea of movies trying to reimagine the same concept, “Life” still manages to stand out from the crowd.