Just to be clear: there are spoilers here for Life. Stop reading now if you don’t want to read those. So, the story. Astronauts find a previously unknown life form on Mars. Said life form is a cute plantlike thingy with small tentacles and it’s actually kinda pretty. But, ofcourse, things go batshit crazy as the alien (sweetly dubbed Calvin) breaks the hand of one astronaut, continues to eat a rat and then goes on a rampage to kill everybody on board.
Alien life form turns out hostile and wants to kill all humans. It’s pretty clear Life takes it’s influence from Alien. And there are worse influences out there. Ofcourse, without a doubt Alien is the better film, but Life is pretty decent. It has some gruesome scenes (Rory being eaten from the inside for instance) and the tension is great at some points. Still, the story and mostly the ending are somewhat predictable and even though the actors are good, the characters are all disposable. So let’s delve a bit deeper into Life.
Don’t go see Life because of Ryan Reynolds
Since he dies and all, you know. As one of the big names in Life, it’s actually quite the surprise Reynolds’ character Rory Adams dies pretty fast in the film. He only has about 40 minutes of screentime. This is because Reynolds had a scheduling conflict with The Hitman’s Bodyguard. He really was supposed to have a larger role. So, surprise, they let him die. Good decision, as often big names don’t die or don’t die so soon (best exception ever is ofcourse Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea). It also was a good decision since Adams is mostly just like Deadpool in space; witty, sarcastic and with a big mouth. If I want to see Deadpool, I will see Deadpool, and not Life.
Luckily, the rest of the cast is better than Reynolds basically playing Reynolds (I love the man, but does he ever play any other part than the sarcastic funny dude?). But as said, the characters are disposable and two-dimensional. The other big name is Jake Gyllenhaal who of course does make it to the end of the film. Kinda still alive, although probably not for long. If you’re looking for a laugh, go watch some interviews Reynolds and Gyllenhaal did for the promotion of this film. They are hilarious. These guys have some serious bromance going on.
The rest of the cast shows us some more diversity. Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya and Rebecca Ferguson make up the rest of the International Space Station astronauts team. While Dihovichnaya and Ferguson are no Ellen Ripley (not by a long shot) it’s good to have some girlpower in this film. Same as in The Martian, the commander on board is a woman. The entire cast does a good job in making the audience believe they have spent quite some time together. That makes all those deaths a bit more sad.
Is Life a secret Venom prequel?
Well wouldn’t that be something? Here’s the story: there’s a very popular fan theory that Life secretely is a Venom prequel. But that’s all it is: a theory. But just to spike your interest, let me give you four decent reasons why this Venom theory could be spot-on and not crazy:
- Sony. Sony is the distributor for both Life and the upcoming Venom film. FYI: Venom is set for a 2018 premiere and stars none other than Tom Hardy.
- Just look at how the alien looks at the end of Life. It starts the film looking majestic and graceful and ends up being some blackish weblike substance. So there.
- Life writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick also wrote Deadpool, so there’s a Marvel link for one. Secondly, they wrote a Venom script. Yes, that script was shelved some time ago, but still. They. Wrote. A. Venom. Script.
- Nobody has denied this theory (yet). Not the writers, not the director, not Sony.
If Life is not a Venom prequel, it’s just another Alien-like film and not the best at that. It’s just a fun (well, not for all those who DIE ofcourse) and fast film to see if you’re a Sci-Fi/Monstermovie/Spacemovie fan. If Life IS a Venom prequel, oh YES this would be so awesome. It would also make Life a better movie than it is now. So let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that this theory is more than a theory. A secret Venom prequel would maybe even be better than a secret Cloverfield sequel. So for now the verdict is: Life is an OK Sci-Fi flick. Let’s see if this verdict will change somewhere in 2018.