Life

Life

Life

2017.  Directed by Daniel Espinosa 

By Brian Wallinger 

Life is a sci-fi horror retread of the classic man verse alien trope that has dominated the genre for decades.

A group of astronauts on a research mission looking for signs of intelligent life discover a specimen of unknown origin that proves to be intelligent and extremely hostile.  While there are moments of suspense interwoven into the compact running time, a paper thin script and a general lack of imagination prove to be insurmountable obstacles.  

Espinosa never explores the limits of the claustrophobic setting and the cast are cardboard cut outs, never stepping beyond the boundaries of their one dimensional victims to be.  Even Gyllenhaal and Reynolds appear uncomfortable, with Reynolds playing a astronaut version of himself. 

Even the production design is painfully straight forward, save for some solid CGI footage of the space station's exterior.   

Everything about Life screams mediocre Alien clone. However, by playing it safe, the film never rises above soulless imitation.  

☆ 1/2

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