• Life (2017) - Predictable story line but great execution - 7/10 (26/03/17)

    Life (2017)

    Even though ''Life'' really follows classic science-fiction standards by the numbers, it's a really engaging movie. Yes, the first twenty minutes take the time to introduce the settings and the characters. Obviously, the rest of the movie focuses on the monster that is going to kill the crew members one by one. It's as predictable as it gets when I'm telling you that the atmosphere inside the vessel will be intense, that there will be a few breathtaking scenes taken in space and that some characters will be ready to sacrifice themselves in order to save others. Of course, the famous lead character is the one to survive until the end. And yes, there is going to be an inevitable twist at the very end. On the other side, I must admit that the movie didn't follow all the wrong stereotypes. There are no unnecessary side stories such as emotional conflicts between the characters that act in a rather mature way and we are not exposed to a cheesy love story either which makes the characters more believable.

    Despite some flaws in the predictable story department, this movie in the vein of the classic Alien flicks still deserves to be watched on the big screen. The visual elements in the vessel and in space never fail to impress me but also have a realistic touch to them. Special effects such as body horror elements and explosions in the space station are added in small and efficient doses. The fact that ninety-eight percent of the film take place in space give this movie a refreshingly streamlined approach and since ninety-five percent of it are taking place inside the vessel, the film develops a claustrophobic vibe. This atmosphere is enhanced by a subtle yet gripping soundtrack. The characters feel down to earth and are portrayed accurately by the actors and actresses. They might not deliver the best performances of their careers but manage to give the movie a realistic touch. In the beginning, I was skeptical that the plot seemed to rely on a cast that absolutely needed to be multicultural which feels unnaturally forced in many films but it makes sense in the context of an international space mission.

    The most interesting element about this film is obviously its antagonist. Instead of introducing us to a big and strong monster in the key of Alien or Predator, this extraterrestrial life form constantly evolves its behavior and shape which adds to the rising tension in the movie. The fact that the monster acts unpredictably yet intelligently and learns very quickly about its survival instincts and tactics makes it a genuinely scary opponent. The monster's capacity to adapt to any threat makes it so respectable while its physical appearance is so unspectacular that it feels quite realistic.

    In the end, apart of the predictable story line and the first twenty minutes which are necessary to introduce the setting but somehow lack intensity, Life is an atmospheric, intelligent and realistic science-fiction-horror movie that will please those who love classic material like the Alien and Predator franchises.

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