Sunday, March 26, 2017
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
Los Angeles Times (K. Turan) review
RogerEbert.com (K. Turan) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review
Life  (directed by Daniel Espinosa, screenplay by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) is perhaps best understood as a SciFi story whose creators really didn't know what they wanted:
On the one hand, they wanted the respectability of well-made recent SciFi films with thoughtful / believable scenarios like Gravity , The Martian  and even Contagion . On the other hand, they invented a monster -- the AV Club's reviewer A.A. Dowd (above) calls it "A Space Octopus" -- that really deserves to be in a B-movie.
Now don't get me wrong, I generally like / review favorably high budget fantastic stories like those Marvel Superhero Universe. I even enjoyed -- smiled from ear-to-ear actually -- watching, mesmerized, two races of GIANT Transformer Robots SMASHING THINGS (buildings, cars, everything really) LEFT-AND- RIGHT while THEY BEAT the daylights out of EACH OTHER on-and-all-over the streets of Chicago in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon .
But this film didn't seem to fit in any of the these three SciFi universes: the respectable / believable if generally Dystopic kind; the "attack of the race of intelligent lobsters" low-budget B-movie kind, or the GIANT high-budget Super Hero / Super Monster / Super Villain kind.
So what's the film about? Well, researchers on the International Space Station successfully capture a sample-return pod arriving to Mars, and begin analyzing the sample for evidence of life. Well, something starts to grow. Initially it seems to be growing like a colony of single celled organisms but, to the researchers horror, it coalesces into what becomes a very smart (and very hungry) multi-apendaged "space-octopus" -- everyone of its cells is BOTH a muscle and a nerve cell ...
Well, needless to say ... much ensues ...
I would have settled for "a space virus" ;-) ... The space octopus proved just weird if, I suppose, "really really frightening."
Anyway, it just seems that the creators of this film really couldn't settle on the monster that they wanted to present. So ... sigh ... not exactly a "must see"
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