Have you ever wondered if there is a life beyond Earth? What is it like? Is it friendly for humans and other living creatures?

Even if you find some idle alien creature from outer space, do not ever poke it or try to make it live.  Turns out it could break your hands or even worse, destroy humanity.

At least this is a quick conclusion that I got from this movie.

Life is a 2017 American science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Espinosa. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson and Ryan Reynolds.

See the trailer below:

The main idea of this movie is simple. It tells a story of six-member crew of the International Space Station that uncovers what initially seems to be the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. The movie opens with the crews aboard International Space Station (ISS) who capture a probe returning from Mars. The probe scooped up Martian soil samples, which is then observed by the xenobiologist Hugh (Ariyon Bakare).

The Martian soil samples make it onto the station, and Hugh finds they contain preserved single-celled organisms. Excited, Hugh tries to reanimate the organisms by adjusting the environment around it. The organism, which is named “Calvin” by elementary school students on Earth, suddenly comes to life. Calvin reacts to movement and grows bigger. As remarked by Miranda (Rebecca Ferguson), Calvin is “all brains, all muscles, and all eyes.” It is a living creature.

Dormant Calvin, which is poked with an electric device. Wrong decision

However, after an atmospheric malfunction in the laboratory, Calvin goes dormant and doesn’t show any sign of life. Hugh is sad, because it seems that he has affection to Calvin (which he grows, literally). Hugh then revives Calvin with a mild electric shock. Calvin wakes up and becomes hostile. It even breaks Hugh’s hand, breaks the (presumably) strong gloves, and yes, escapes its box. Things get worse, worse from there.

The innocent, jelly-like creature becomes an alien with super strength and speed that can kill human within seconds. The crews, realizing that this creature is so hostile it can destroy the humanity on Earth, try very hard to trap it in one of the pods, emptying the oxygen, and so on. But Calvin is also a living thing that needs food and has defense mechanism. It begins to attack the crews.

My thoughts about this movie:

I have not seen other similar movies like Alien (1979), Arrival (2016), Interstellar (2014), or Gravity (2013), and I must say that Life is a dramatic experience. Some reviews said that this movie mimics Alien’s plot almost scene for scene, but I have no capacity to judge it because I have never seen it. So let me just tell you what I get from this movie.

I watched a few scenes through my fingers because I couldn’t bear the catastrophic effects and how cruel Calvin is. Every scene with Calvin is an absolute “nope” for me. I’m also a little bit claustrophobic and it really adds the horror. Thanks to the camera effects, the CGI, and what it seems like scientifically true mechanism of a space shuttle (I know nothing about it to be honest), this movie still sticks in my mind until now.

The filmmakers also really know how to create some awful and unexpected ways to die in space. The casts, in the other hand, portray the characters beautifully. My personal favorite is when David (Jack Gyllenhaal) says that he does not want to go back to the Earth because he belongs to the space. What a cool choice to spend your life, mate.

I want to praise the team who created Calvin. I do not believe in extraterrestrial life, but I have always thought that an “alien” looks just like us, with hands, feet, eyes, nose, mouth and limbs. Before watching the movie I have guessed that there must be an alien creature in this movie, but I never expected that it would be this jelly with a strength like a cobra named Calvin. It is mesmerizing, at least for me.

Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) during one of the most critical moments in the movie.
Source: laftusa.com

What really upsets me is the ending. I never expected the ending to be like that. Near the end of the movie I could see a ray of hope in the life of last two survivors in the movie (I won’t spoil it), but BAM! I was speechless with the ending and utterly confused.

But the rumor says that that upsetting ending is a teaser for a sequel. Let’s see.

Would I recommend this movie to you?

If you like this kind of movies, you will enjoy it, regardless of the said similarity to its predecessors. If you are curious with the life beyond the Earth, go ahead, you will absolutely like it. But if you do not like major plot twist, just ask your friend to tell you what kind of movie it is.

Life is still playing on the XXI theater chains near you.

by Fauziah Listyo Ayunani


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