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Movie review: LIFE.

Director - Daniel Espinosa

Cast - Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya

Science fiction films almost always follow the same premise - human inquisitiveness leading to monstrous and disastrous results. Daniel Espinosa's Life does the same and is sporadically thrilling. One cannot shake off the resemblance to Ridley Scott's classic Alien, which was mind-blowing in its depiction of horror in the confines of a space ship. Life has things working in its favour in the initial scenes, but it loses steam as time progresses and one cannot fathom the idiotic decisions made by a bunch of smart people in charge of the International Space Station (ISS) and being hunted by an alien species.

Movie Trivia

Life is the first film featuring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds together.

This is the first space-based movie to feature actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

The movie is inspired by Alien (1979).

The ISS crew, comprising the senior medical officer Dr David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and pilot and resident mechanic Rory 'Roy' Adams (Ryan Reynolds), quarantine officer Dr Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson), biologist Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare), system engineer Sho Murakami (Hiroyuki Sanada) and ISS commander Katerina Golovkin (Olga Dihovichnaya), are preparing to catch the Mars probe carrying specimens from the planet. Hugh finds an organism that is 'all-muscle, all-brain, all-eye'. He brings it to life and it starts growing at a fast pace, hunting down every living thing in the space station. The crew members try everything in their power to prevent the creature from getting to Earth, but things don't go their way.

The director had some A-list actors at his disposal and it was surprising to see one of them being bumped at the beginning itself. Maybe Reynolds had some other pressing commitments, like Deadpool 2, to concentrate on. Espinosa did add some qualities and foibles to each character. Olga, Bakare and Sanada gave good performances. Gyllenhaal seemed to be channelling his Nightcrawler weirdness in most parts. Rebecca was solid in portraying her character's strength and vulnerabilities. The Mission: Impossible actress has certainly got more to offer.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Apr 5, 2017
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