Movie Review: 'Life'

John Thomas

Calvin is a bad boy, a very bad boy. He began life as a sample from Mars, captured by the six-member team of an international space station floating around in outer space. His actual birth is at the bottom of a petri dish in a laboratory in this space station.

The team is thrilled at the success of his birth, marvels at his beauty and celebrates the fact that this is the first creation of anything containing evidence of intelligent life in outer space – they name it Calvin. Roy (Ryan Reynolds), the technician onboard, adds a bit of humor by mentioning parental custody issues of the newly born. Their thoughts soon change.

Among Roy’s colleagues are David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and their leader Rebecca Ferguson (Miranda North). As the team goes about their lives, floating around their beautiful space station, glimpses of outer space are seen through the windows and camera footage filmed outside of the space craft. Things are beautiful outside, but bad things are brewing on the inside.

Draining the life out of some of the crew members, Calvin transforms from a cute “infant” to a deadly monster in a very short period of time. As he becomes larger and stronger, the crew decides to terminate him – but how? His intelligence serves him well, as he is able to escape capture and create havoc as the decreasing number of pursuers continues to plot for his demise.

Of course other challenging issues arise for the team, such as low fuel, malfunctions, change of orbit and no communications with home base. Calvin continues to grow larger and more aggressive. Rebecca and David are desperate to eliminate him and return home. Out of a window they see an approaching space craft they hope is coming to help; but no, it is there for a more deadly purpose.

Now, without adequate air, heat and little fuel, Rebecca and David devise a desperate plan to abort the mission and escape from the main craft on two of the single-passenger reentry capsules.

Rebecca’s capsule is to return to earth and David’s is to continue to infinity, hopefully with Calvin. David has insisted that Rebecca head homeward, saying to her: “I belong up here.” They mutually agree that under no circumstances should Calvin reach earth.

The small crafts are seen floating toward their respective destinations – one of them with Calvin. Reentry is as planned, a safe water landing. Two inquisitive fishermen see the capsule bobbing on the ocean surface, so they guide their fishing boat over to investigate. With determination and great effort they finally manage to pull the door open.

Audiences who enjoyed the film “Deadpool” will likely enjoy this film as well. Daniel Espinosa (director) engaged the talents of writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese to write this film – they also wrote “Deadpool.” The writers maintain their spark of noir humor as they examine the future in both stories, sliding easily from humor to horror. The music during the screen credits is genius.


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