Life is directed by Daniel Espinosa and features the story of six members aboard the International Space Station, three of which are the main leads—Jake GyllenhaalRebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds— are assigned to study an organism from Mars in order to determine if life does exist beyond Earth. However, the extraterrestrial they discover soon becomes incredibly hostile, trapping them within their ship. Now the faction must figure out how to kill the creature before it escapes to Earth.

We’ve seen countless outer space movies where people are in space and something bad happens to them. Obviously, the one that comes to mind first is Ridley Scott’s Alien. So what’s going to make this new movie any different from the rest of its kind?

Its approach. While this movie isn’t breaking any new ground in the genre, I appreciated the effort the director put it to make Life the not-so typical alien flick we’ve come to expect.

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An all around, great cast of talent is showcased as expected. We got two of my favorite actors working today in Gyllenhaal and Reynolds killing it. These two are always a lock to have strong performances in anything they’re in. Rebecca Ferguson also had a very good showing, especially since she doesn’t have the biggest name recognition like Gyllenhaal or Reynolds so she was somewhat of a wild card going in.

The film as a whole is also visually gorgeous. The use of CGI to create the outside of the spaceship, from the Earth itself, to even the creature that is being studied by these scientists. Everything truly does look very legit and incredibly realized in this film.

Now touching base on the directing approach the film took. Life is actually very well grounded, more grounded than a lot of space alien films in the past. Even with Alien, arguably one of the best space movies, the audience has to suspended some disbelief in order to go along with the story. With Life, the story is very realistic and in return, made for the horror-thriller aspects to become much more engaging. Thanks to a solid screenplay, the events presented feel as though they could actually happen if humans found life beyond Earth.

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Like I said before, nothing about Life is really groundbreaking in regards to the ever growing space genre. Will we be talking about Life in say five years? I’d say probably not. Nonetheless, what the film does well is put a fun, different spin on the established brand to deliver a gripping, well-acted, suspenseful space thriller.

I’m going to give Life a solid “B” on the movie grading scale. This film may not be a game changer by any means, but I don’t think it would be a waste of time to check this one out in theaters either way.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.

– Frank

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