Six (sexy) astronauts aboard a space station get more than they bargained for when playing with samples from Mars. One minute they’re gushing and tearing up at the beauty of awakening a seemingly harmless single-celled organism, the next they’re screaming and crying as it swells and develops a taste for blood.
I’ve made the plot sound really bare….well, that’s because it is. The strength of this film doesn’t fall in the writing department, but it delivers a hefty punch in other areas.
Wonderfully filmed (love the extra long single shot in the opening sequence) and well acted, there’s lots to like about this flick. The special effects are brilliant, with pretty space and Earth vistas – and even the raging monster cell looks believable.
It’s squirmy, tense and fun, with some nice hide your eyes and jump out of your seat moments.
It’s a flick that’s been made with care and consideration, but the writing sets it back.
LIFE sets off to a slow start, with some truly clunky dialogue that attempts to keep the less scientific members of the audience informed on what is relatively obvious anyway (“Mission Control, he is going to skywalk – which is putting himself at great risk!”….yep, pretty sure Mission Control knows that…and even us non-NASA types know it’s not exactly safe floating about in the middle of space!)
The characters are inconsistent when it comes to deciding whether to save their friends / save themselves / save Earth, and the attempts to add depth to each character by providing glimpses of backstory (through dialogue) doesn’t really add much. You could also find plot holes if you cared to look for them.
Despite the scientific setting, this film ain’t rocket science. It doesn’t succeed at advancing the ‘trapped in space’ film genre in any way. But it’s certainly plain good old fashioned fun, beefed up by some quality acting and nice camera work. Despite not being “in the mood” for a movie, I found myself sucked in and entertained.
I rate it 7 stars