Life  combines some of the most exciting themes in filmmaking as the film focuses around an International space station, equipped with a crew acted out by an amazing cast, as these men and women figure out what to do when they discover a hostile alien life form from Mars. Daniel Espinosa (Child 44 & Safe House) is behind the camera and somehow handles a cast complete with Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson and Hiroyuki Sanada. And of course, it helps when the script is co-written by Rhett Reese (Deadpool & Zombieland).
Best of Both Worlds: If you were to ask any critic or casual filmgoer, what Life reminds them of, then you will most likely get “a combination of Alien and Gravity”. Uhhh...sure, I guess. However, Espinosa’s film is much more than a rehash of the themes delivered by one classic space horror and another fairly successful modern space thriller. Of course, any space horror film after 1979 will always have to tip their creative hats to Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Life is able to provide new scares and perhaps one of the most absolutely terrifying, zero-gravity, floating, alien designs, ever. And of course, no space film will ever be the same after the camera work of Gravity. But that can be appreciated as Life delivers some stunning cinematography for a film that is not necessarily focused on anything outside of claustrophobic spaces.
Fighting for the Pay Day: Life suffers from the same thing most blockbuster cast films do: over-crowding attention and not enough of your favorites. Gyllenhaal, Reynolds, Ferguson and Sanada all deliver really fun roles but obviously, we want more of them. However, it is worth recognizing that even though each of these performers are some of the biggest stars in the game, they all have entertaining chemistry throughout the duration of the film.
Step By Step: Espinosa does not have a whole lot going on for his filmography. For those who watched Child 44, a film that had the potential to be just as successful as any other crime/mystery films, it lacked any form of pacing. For this reason, one could go into watching Life not being very confident how long or short or complete it would feel. I am unsure of what Espinosa has done since 2015, and perhaps a great cast and screenwriter helped, but the direction and pacing of Life blows most recent space horror films out of the water (or the cosmos?!?). The film does not miss a step and you will be digging your fingers into your seat until 10 minutes after the film ends.