Verdict – The premise has been done before but it still manages to keep you guessing.
After eight months of wait for the crew, and almost a year of waiting for us, we finally have the life reach the space station where it is going to be studied, and eventually, wreak havoc. Life has the scares of Alien meeting the emotions of Gravity.
From the moment the life form is found in the soil samples, you are waiting for something to go wrong even as the six crew members rejoice for making the big discovery. The alien is going to be murderous and you hope it's not your favorite characters who die.
Ryan Reynolds plays the lovable Rory Adams, the confident goof who takes risks to get things done. Jake Gyllenhaal is David Jordan, a Syrian vet who is about to make a record for the longest time spent in space. Rebecca Fergusson, of the Mission Impossible fame, plays the strict Miranda North. The other actors include Ariyon Bakare (British), Olga Dihovichnaya (Russian), Hiroyuki Sanada (Japanese), all playing characters of their respective nationalities. The six share screentime equally enough that nobody seems unnecessary. Everyone has a role to play and nobody is safe from the alien. You will get to each character and you will feel the full force every tragedy.
The Martian life form, nicknamed 'Calvin' by a school that won a naming competition, begins as a single-cell organism that grows rapidly. The bigger it grows, the more intelligent it becomes. And so begins the battle of the crew members against the alien. Calvin proves very hard to kill. It's not long until their luck goes bad and everything starts going against them. It's up to them to use their skills to survive against the alien.
With the strong bonds among the crew members, it gets hard for them to follow protocol against watching one of their friends die. It's only Miranda that forces them to follow their training and is ready to sacrifice one to save the others. Their mission quickly becomes to keep it from going back to earth, even if they all have to die for that to happen.
Despite being a science-fiction movie, Life has very little focus on science. There's science jargon peppered throughout but never explained much for the sake of 'clever viewers' or needless exposition. It's not hard to follow – it's them against Calvin and Calvin keeps winning. But what Life does right is the unpredictable deaths of the crew members. There are no main characters that you are sure will remain alive until the very end. Nobody has script armor, any of the six people could die at any time. The deaths are gruesome, but not too hard to stomach.
The first 40 minutes of the movie are certainly its strongest part. It has the anticipation of having Calvin grow before you and wait for it to escape and strike back. Just as it gets slows down in the third act, by beginning to get a bit depressive and a little sentimental, Life redeems itself with a powerful ending.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you're a fan of the classic genre movies featuring homicidal creatures from outer space, this movie is a must-watch. Deadpool fans will also get a kick out of seeing Ryan Reynolds play a similar character while waiting for the next installment. The best part of all is that you get to play a challenging guessing game of who's going to die next.