Life Review: 6 Ups & 3 Downs

A solid Alien knock-off.

Life Rebecca Ferguson Ryan Reynolds
Columbia Pictures

Despite boasting the A-list pairing of Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, new sci-fi horror flick Life has landed in cinemas with minimal hype, but you know what? It's pretty good.

Critics are responding mostly positively to Daniel Espinosa's (Safe House) latest effort, and while hardly a particularly innovative entry into the genre, it should largely satisfy genre hounds looking for something fun, compelling and occasionally smart ahead of the annual summer blockbuster onslaught.

How does Life compare to Ridley Scott's Alien? Is it really a Venom origin story? Are the cast wasted or allowed to flourish? It's time to find out.


3. The Characters Suffer From "Prometheus Syndrome"

Life Ryan Reynolds
Columbia Pictures

With all the comparisons to Alien, it's perversely apt that Life is also indebted to Prometheus as far as its characters go...and not in a good way.

Though it's nowhere near as egregious as Prometheus, the characters here frequently behave in idiotic ways that seem implausible for scientists. Ryan Reynolds' engineer Rory Adams in particular comes off as a twitchy meathead who doesn't seem to put any critical thought into attempting to subdue the alien, Calvin.

Sure, it's an intense, confined situation where typical logic won't always apply, but there are a number of jarringly nonsensical character decisions that just feel far too stupid for such an apparently intelligent group of people.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.