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Film Review: Suspenseful ‘Life’ is Tense, Compelling Science Fiction

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – Combining the invasion elements of “Alien” with the life-raft-in-space morbidity of “Gravity,” the new film “Life” maintains a grip from the enlightened beginning to the twisted end. Mars is the origin, so the film joins “The Martian” and “The Space Between Us” in sourcing the red planet.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

The idea, it seems, is to find the type of actors who can sell the story, and the cast of “Life” is up to the task. Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson are part of the crew that is experiencing the “and then there were none” scenario, as the life form from Mars is loose on their space station. This seemingly unstoppable force occurs through the decision making of exploration… are we willing to take the consequences of “discovering” life outside the earth? It all adds up to a well done thriller, which is more of a suspense movie – like the Alien series – than the consequences-of-the-future science fiction.

A six-person crew pilots the International Space Station, an orbiting United Nations occupied by astronauts portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds (Americans), Rebecca Ferguson, Ariyon Barkare (Brits), Hiroyuki Sanada (Japanese) and Olga Dihovichnaya (Russian). They corral a returning Mars probe, hoping a new experiment will yield some evidence of life there.

Profoundly, the life force is discovered, and reacts intelligently to sensory stimulation, which thrills the crew. That thrill turns to ill as the amoeba-like creature craves more life, and is willing to take it from the space craft. It escapes the lab environment and begins to wreak havoc, and one by one the members of space station need to figure out how to survive.

“Life” opens everywhere on March 24th. Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Ariyon Barkare Hiroyuki Sanada and Olga Dihovichnaya. Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Life”

Jake Gyllenhaal Peers into Space in ‘Life’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Life”

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