It's Alien for a new generation; from the get-go it has that same air about it, a feeling of fear and foreboding, with the opening score setting the tone. The story tells of a team of astronauts from across the world that are aboard the International Space Station.
Their mission and eventual discovery of the first ever extra-terrestrial life on Mars is supposed to be one of the most iconic moments in human history.
As the crew conduct their research, the rapidly evolving life-form proves far more intelligent and terrifying than anyone could have imagined, leaving in its wake destruction and danger that no one could of foreseen (besides the viewers, of course).
Life almost feels like a reboot of the Alien franchise. It boasts a strong cast and keeps you gripped despite the gore, blood and death (yes, there are deaths – it is a horror film, after all).
The all-star cast – led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Rebecca Ferguson – are convincing in their character portrayals.
The team make it clear from the get-go that they are willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of science and the Earth’s safety.
Despite the genre, Ryan Reynolds brings his usual element of sarcastic humour to the party and there are some genuinely funny moments during the film.
Viewers are offered a look into the mundane life of astronauts until the arrival of the space pod carrying the sample of life from Mars that will turn life as we know it upside down and into an ultimate fight for survival.
As the film progresses, one wants to know more, despite there being a constant ache of dread – who’s going to die next?
There is suspense, just enough to keep you hooked, but there was not enough build-up to some of what should have been key moments in the film – so in this aspect, Life missed the mark.There were times when I openly felt the urge to scream: “No, no, no!” in shock and disgust at some of the death scenes, which made me feel queasy. This film is not for the faint-hearted.
The score helps to keep the momentum going throughout and as the film ends and credits roll, the song Spirit in the Sky plays. It’s a cheeky and sarcastic way to finish and I couldn’t help but laugh at this dark humour.
Life is no Oscar-winner or heartwrencher but it is entertaining, gripping and gives a new dimension to the old and much loved sci-fi horrors from late 70s, 80s and early 90s.
The cinematography, CGI and visual effects are breathtaking. One of my favourite parts was being able to look through the “eyes” of the alien and, of course, the sun rising over the Earth.
It’s not perfect and at times it was overly dramatic and too predictable but, nonetheless, it’s a film that most sci-fi fans will enjoy.
By the end, it gets a little messy, which is to be expected with the horror genre, but it leaves viewers wondering and hoping whether or not a sequel might be on the cards.