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ikkegoemikke's Movie Reviews (573)

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Life (2017) 
Haven't seen Alien?Give this one a chance
3/4 stars

"I feel hate. I feel pure f*cking hate for that thing."

A space station returning from Mars with a mono-cellular organism. They call it a scientific breakthrough and the final proof that there's indeed life on Mars. However, the euphoria is quickly reversed when this lovable organism, which name is "Calvin" by the way, threatens to kill the entire crew. And in hindsight, it's a danger to the entire universe. Including peaceful Earth. Before they know it, this single-celled alien friend turns into an overgrown shammy. The result is crew members being crushed and consumed. Apparently, it's extremely intelligent and it succeeds in escaping from the observation lab. And then it is up to the rest of the crew to make sure that the alien, moving like a Patrick Star across the space station, doesn't reach Earth.

"Life" is a nerve-racking SF story. And unlike "Arrival", the creature's intentions aren't friendly. The fact that many comparisons are made with the "Alien" saga is inevitable. The same conditions and surroundings provide for a similar cat-and-mouse game with a crew trying to survive. But even with this in mind, I can only say that the pacing of this movie was scorchingly fast. Before I knew it the movie was finished. The end is not really surprising but probably it'll keep running through your mind the next few days. It was also remarkably how many times someone mumbled "It's beautiful" while looking at Calvin. Of course you can predict it won't be a happy ending.

The story on its own isn't original and has been used countless times in other movies. But visually it's a gem. The space station has been worked out down to the last detail. And despite the fact that it's a huge ship, you still get the impression as if the compartments are rather limited in space and therefor creates a claustrophobic effect. But in particular the moving of crew members in zero-gravity looks fascinating. The tilting and rotating station ensures that you can no longer distinguish the bottom from the top at certain times. I'm sure the CGI department has had a lot of work to make it as realistic as possible. Even the bloody scenes suddenly become fascinating scenes, demonstrating how drops of blood behave in a weightless state.

Also the cast wasn't bad. Every single one excelled and contributed to this exciting space horror. The most famous names are of course Ryan "Deadpool" Reynolds, as space cowboy Rory Adams, picking satellites out of space and always the first one to break a rule. And Jake Gyllenhaal (still my favorite actor at the moment) as David Jordan, an ex-marine who's about to break the record of "longest stay in space" because he hates the attitude of people on earth. Hiroyuki Sanada, who played a major part in "The Railway Man", gets the most human role in "Life". He can see the birth of his first child because it's being broadcast live on the ISS. Rebecca "Mission Impossible" Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya and Ariyon Bakare complete the crew and join the others while trying to escape the fluttering alien.

Despite the obvious similarities with "Alien", Daniel "Child 44" Espinosa succeeded in making a creepy, dark and intense movie. It won't go down as a classic, but the film is successful on several levels. Still I hope when future Mars expeditions discover the slightest form of any kind of alien life, they are wise enough to leave it be and certainly don't bring it back home as a sort of trophy. For movie lovers who haven't seen "Alien" yet (that's impossible in my opinion, but still), this exciting SF will definitely be worthwhile to watch.

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