It begins with hope and promise but Life released in 2017 would not continue as such for while it might make for an interesting movie when it was all said and done, would instead go down the killer alien route making for something a little familiar, yet in the end, quite enjoyable.
For all that it is, one cannot help but think of the many films that came before this that it takes its cue from and yet thankfully director Daniel Espinosa uses a steady hand to craft a very fine thriller, one that builds slowly until the horror that the audience knows is coming, explodes onto the screen. It might be clichéd a bit but the movie tries to change things up a little here and there beginning with the creature who starts out in this film as a single-celled organism, microscopic in size. As with all things, it is human nature and good old-fashioned curiosity that come into play and it is from there where things start to go wrong. That being said, science would never progress nor would humanity without being curious, without testing the limits and so it is understandable that those on the ship do what they do but it is slightly infuriating for the audience as they have seen this time and again, thus knowing what is about to happen. It is a good thing then that the film is expertly crafted, the horror frightening and the tension palpable.
Starring in this slice of science-fiction would be Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson for the most part, taking the leads and doing a great job of it. Joining them for the ride would be Ryan Reynolds for a little while, the man being the first to die and certainly not the last along with the incredible Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya and Naoko Mori. While the special effects, the direction and the cinematography would all bear this out to be a very solid movie, it would go nowhere without the talents of the cast who do an exemplary job of the material, making it all that much better. As for the creature, it was as much a character as anyone else in the film and the makers of this picture did a good job at making it come alive and giving it, at least of sorts, a personality as it went on killing the entire complement aboard the station aside from Jake Gyllenhaal and Ferguson.
As for the ending of the film, it could have gone one of two ways and that is exactly what was presented to the audience, the finale slightly surprising those who would choose to watch this picture. Good to see was the fact that it was left open-ended, the imagination of the viewers having to take over and wonder just where it would go from that point and the film was good enough that they would do just that. For those that enjoy that claustrophobic feeling of being trapped with a bloodthirsty monster and no hope of escape, Life sets it up and knocks it out of the park, any faults with it quickly forgotten.
3.5 out of 5