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“Life” Explores Extraterrestrial World

Kathryn Chatman, Staff Writer

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While the world was abuzz with news about the discovery of Trappist-1, some worried about the repercussions of delving into such a field. The science fiction film “Life” exposes these fears when six astronauts undertake the responsibility of  discovering such lifeforms. Featuring a renowned and established cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds and Rebecca Ferguson, “Life” explores the possibilities and consequences associated with dabbling in the extraterrestrial world, and gives an entertaining look into the questions many have about the universe.

Directed by Swedish director Daniel Espinosa, “Life” follows six intelligent astronauts as they journey through space on an expedition to find life on other planets. The crew, including medical examiner Dr. David Jordan (Gyllenhaal) and quarantine officer Dr. Miranda North (Ferguson) revive and rear a dormant cell found on Mars, with biologist Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakar) forming a special attachment to the the lifeform. However, the seemingly sound situation quickly turns hostile when Calvin, as the organism is endearingly named, begins terrorizing the crew, even killing some of the astronauts in an effort to survive. “Life” follows the plight of these astronauts as they attempt to complete their mission and return home safely.

One of the best qualities of the movie is the special effects. As Calvin thrives throughout the movie, he becomes a vile-looking and cringe worthy creature, which adds an interesting element to the climax. Additionally, the setting looks realistic enough to make it feel as if the film was actually shot in space, unlike some other films; for instance, “Gravity”, starring Sandra Bullock, has been criticised for its background looking too much like a stock image and not very natural. There are several other small details included in the film that add substance to individual scenes; in one scene, as characters are viciously slaughtered, drops of blood spill from their mouths and float about the craft, reminding viewers of their International Space Station location. Aside from the effects, the acting in the movie is superb, especially that of Gyllenhaal and Olga Dihovichnaya.Gyllenhaal plays an awkward but sympathetic character, adding an element of genuinity to the film, and Dihovichnaya’s acting brung power to her most critical scene.

One of the more negative aspects of the film is its ending. The conclusion is way too cliche, something one would initially assume  happens, then quickly dismisses as being too obvious, only to be disappointed to find out their suspicions were true. There were a few other eye-roll worthy moments throughout the film, including, a scene near the end when David reads a passage from the children’s  book “Goodnight Moon” and says his goodbyes to planet earth. In addition, Ryan Reynolds’ character Rory is quite annoying, as he perfectly embodies the typical American stereotype many northerners try to shed.

Overall, “Life” was in entertaining and quality film. There may have been a few negatives about the film, but it is still worth 1 hour and 44 minutes of a moviegoer’s time. For its outstanding acting and creative effects, the sci-fi horror earns a rating of 4/5 stars.

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“Life” Explores Extraterrestrial World