Daniel Espinosa's LIFE
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
Life is not one of those films. While its production values are excellent including its zero gravity effects, the whole is definitely less than the sum of its parts. These include 10 Little Indians (who dies next?), Bloodthirsty Aliens, Victims Trapped In in Small Spaces, Endless Corridors, and an endangered space station that always seems in danger of Falling Out Of Low Earth Orbit.
A major deficiency is the handling of the characters. A good ensemble cast has been assembled but we never seem to get to know them despite a few embarrassingly shallow attempts to humanize via generic back stories. So what if Jake Gyllenhaal's character prefers life in orbit to life on the ground? That's not why we came to see this film. Let's watch that alien organism grow and chow down on an ethnically diverse and female lead crew!
Admittedly there are some clever touches. One doomed crewmember meets fate in a decidedly original way. The alien itself is a prize of puppetry and CGI. But by the end--which we see coming from a mile away--we've lost interest. One can't help but wonder, where is Ripley when you need her?
Review copyright (c) 2017 by Dennis D. McDonald