Movie Review: LIFE

by Camilo Arenivar

Life is not a bad movie, but it’s not a really good movie either. It simply fills a niche and if you like that niche and don’t have high standards, you should be very pleased and well entertained. The movie is not being entirely panned by critics, it has a 67% average on with a 63% audience rating. Metacritic has it at 59% and pre-screening audiences (CinemaScore) gave it a C+. Let’s see what the deal is.
 The premise: An International Space Station team is going to rendezvous with an unmanned capsule sending a critical sample back from Mars. As they examine it, they realize it is LIVING. And it grows. And then, scary things happen.
 The Bad: The characters are unoriginal and typical, you don’t really feel too attached them nor do you care too much about their plight. You are more concerned about the fate of Earth should the life-form make it to the blue planet below. Additionally, the story seems very familiar. Haven’t we seen this before? Yeah, probably. It was done best in the Ridley Scott classic, “Alien”. 
 The Good: Well, it is creepy. And that is probably why you’re going to see a sci-fi movie about a life-form from Mars, not to see Sandra Bullock and George Clooney baring their souls while floating in space (oh wait that was already done, right?). And creepy and scary it is, even if it is creepy and scary in a way that we have seem in scary space station/mission move time and time again. The scares are good, the alien is scary, and the tension, once the movie gets going (after maybe 30 of its 100 or so minutes) is well done. 
 What saves this movie from complete average-ness is a nice twist in the story near the end. 
 If you have been missing this kind of movie, go see it! It is exactly what you are looking for. Otherwise, wait for DVD.