How would you feel if you were told that life existed in space? Would you be one of the team members to investigate it out in space? Or would you not even want to risk it? All I know is that is what the astronauts are facing in Life – a movie that interested me from the get-go…but maybe I’m just a fan of science fiction. Regardless, let’s chat about what the movie is even about.
Life is about life, or otherwise know as, intelligent life in space. A group of astronauts is sent to a space station awaiting possible proof of alien life from Mars. It turns out it is alien life, but just a single-celled organism. So, rather than take it to Earth to study it, they decide to stay in outer space to do so…which was probably a good idea, too, because it grows exponentially fast and strong. Before they know it, they have a continually growing alien free in the spaceship bent on killing them all.
I can’t really tell you why the alien is bent on destroying all the humans. I would normally say it is a survival instinct, but it was practically born on that ship. The only other lifeform it knows is the humans. Naturally speaking, it should want to protect them, if only just one of them…instead, the main man who was showing the most admiration and affection for the alien is the first to be attacked. But hey, I guess we’re talking about killer aliens for the sake of calling them killer aliens with a plot a little too close to Alien…if Alien was maybe a little more realistic and less science fiction-y.
Alright, so maybe the plot wasn’t really thought through very well, but that’s only one aspect of the film. What about everything else? Well, let’s get into that and break this film down.
PEOPLE SCORE – 7/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 1|Casting – 1|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 1
First up, we’ll talk about the people category, which got seven stars. The acting was pretty good, as was how important each role added to the overall plot, but everything else was just fine. The characters themselves are fine but forgettable. The casting is nice, but anyone could’ve filled these roles, and everyone could have had better chemistry all around. So all-in-all, we have a people score that got an average score.
WRITING SCORE – 5/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 0|Originality – 0|Interesting – 2
Next up, we have the writing score, which is split right down the middle for both good aspects and bad. Let’s start with the bad. Both the story and originality factors got zeroes because the story has a rather weak foundation and is nothing but a horror film with people running from a monster. The originality is a zero because it’s basically a mirror image of Alien, just not as good. While I don’t see anything super memorable about the dialogue, I did still consider it a balanced and interesting film.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertising – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we have the behind-the-scenes score, which scored nine stars. The visuals were pretty darn good, being a science fiction film taking place in space. The directing was mostly good. The storytelling itself wasn’t great, but the actual cinematography was really good throughout, starting off with a length one-shot. The editing was also pretty great all around. You have a tense film, and a lot of that had to do with how it was put together. It was as advertised, but the music wasn’t super memorable for me. Take that as you will.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 2|Falling Action – 1
The narrative arc score got another nine stars. The introduction got us acquainted with the astronauts and what’s going on. The inciting incident is when the alien begins to hibernate and ultimately starts showing its aggression. The obstacles come down to running away from the thing. The climax is actually really well done, albeit a bit predictable, and there is very little falling action. I’d say it gives you an idea of what comes next, but I really should have given this a zero.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 6/10
Rewatchability – 2|Fun – 2|Impulse/Buy – 1|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks Audience In – 1
So, how entertaining was it? Well, I would certainly consider it fun to watch and definitely rewatchable. That being said, I wouldn’t buy it. I’d like perhaps own it some day, but only if it’s given to me as a gift. I have no real impulse to talk about it, but it does sometimes suck the audience in since it has some truly tense moments in it.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 40/50
Aliens – 10|Horror/Thriller – 10|Science Fiction – 10|Jake Gyllenhaal – 0|Halfway Decent – 10
Finally, we have the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the movie. First of all, this is an alien movie, so how was that aspect? Even though it seems familiar, the alien itself was somewhat unique and terrifying, so I gave that full points. I also gave the horror/thriller aspect full points because as I said before, it really is a tense movie with some cringe-worthy painful scenes. As far as sci-fi goes, it may be closer to reality than most sci-fi films, but it still had plenty of technological advances. Plus…alien. I’m also a fan of pretty much anything Jake Gyllenhaal does, so how did he do here? I’ll give him zero. He wasn’t bad, he was just completely forgettable, as were most of the actors here. Finally was it halfway decent? Definitely.