Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Review: Life

Cert: 15 / 104 mins / Dir. Daniel Espinosa / Trailer

So the general rule appears to be that any movie opening with an asteroid shower hitting a spacecraft is going to be hard work. After around ten minutes of exposition-heavy dialogue, the title card of Daniel Espinosa's sci-fi horror Life features a typographical homage to Alien and an orchestral homage to 2001. That's pretty much all you need to know.

So, watch this if you enjoyed?
Not as visceral as Alien, not as profound as Interstellar, not as sexy as Species… why am I here again?

Should you watch this in a cinema, though?
It's a fine-looking film. If you're going to watch it at all, you may as well do it on a big screen that'll do the visuals justice.

Does the film achieve what it sets out to do?
…be a $58m cover-version? Sure. It's entertaining enough, but the film feels like the cartoon shown before Covenant. BUT fair play to casting for getting an actual international cast to inhabit the re-created International Space Station. Many productions wouldn't look much further than their own native shoreline. Although naturally, the poster's only got the white folks on, but hey.

And while I'm on about the poster: seriously though, mate?

Prometheus / Life: Seriously though, mate?

Also, bonus points for the line: "That's not protocol, it's way too risky!", from Jake the pilot. This is after the galaxy's most inept Quarantine Officer has watched the galaxy's most slapdash Science Officer literally finger-prod an alien organism. After the same dude has electrocuted it to wake it up. After Ryan's gone full-belt in the laboratory with an actual flame-thrower. "That's not protocol!", Jake says*1. Sorry to pop your bubble Jake, but I don't think "Flubber Kills: In Spa-a-a-ace!" is in the manual...

Is this the best work of the cast or director?
I like all of the cast, very much. They're just better than this.

It says a lot that in Jake Gyllenhaal's recent Wittertainment interview, he seemingly couldn't wait to talk about any-and-everything other than the film he was there to push, a tactic also employed on the same show by a Mr McConaughey when he was on the promo-trail for Gold.
I rest my case

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Probably not.
Unless you think it's better than Alien or Aliens

Yes, but is there a Wilhelm Scream in it?
There isn't, although Ariyon Bakare gets the line "I have a good feeling about this…".
From a scriptwriter's perspective, this is probably meant as a playful wink to the GFFA (especially given the question below this one). From the audience's perspective, it's a slap in the face reminding them they could be at home watching Star Wars

Yes, but what's the Star Wars connection?
Level 1: This film's got Blue Four in it.

And if I HAD to put a number on it…

*1 Speaking of which, if there's a 'protocol' for pushing the space-station out into the void in the event of an E.T. emergency, then there's a suicide-procedure for the remaining crew-members, surely? If only to stop them suffocating, starving or just going mad? [ BACK ]

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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