Six astronauts/scientists on the International Space Station study samples that have just been successfully collected on Mars. They hope to find out more about the conditions on Mars, but what they find instead is actually life: a single cell organism that’s either dead or dormant – but it’s there. They can barely contain their excitement, especially when their attempts to revive the organism are actually successful. But they have never encountered a live form like this – and it quickly turns out that it’s more than they bargained for.
Life is a decent, albeit derivative film that works pretty well – at least if you don’t keep comparing it with the Alien franchise it is a little sibling of.
If you’ve seen the Alien movies, you’ve pretty much seen Life as well. And if you’ve seen any other movies set in space, you will know many of the things that happen in advance, although one can still try to be surprised at the ending – the movie very much wants you to be.
Despite that familiarity with pretty much everything about it, Life works pretty well. It’s well-executed on all levels: the cinematography is very nice, the soundtrack has has absolutely brilliant moments and they put together a strong cast who get to play very likeable characters and bundled it all into a well-paced film that doesn’t overstay its welcome.
I liked that they at least tried to put together a cast that’s at least a little diverse (although the PoC die rather quickly and there was apparently no room for WoC) and features native speakers. And I liked the creature design that was surprisingly creative for an also pretty familiar concept.
But the thing is that it’s really very hard to get excited about a film that is so much “been there, done that” like this one, no matter how well done it is. It feels a little pointless to watch it, even though it is very watchable taken on its own and is filled with pretty people.
Summarizing: It’s really not a must-see, but it’s okay.