Film of the Day (12/30/18): Life


Written By Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Directed By Daniel Espinosa

My love of science fiction and space movies is undeniable, so when my dad told me that there was a trapped in space movie with Jake Gyllenhaal in a lead role that I hadn’t seen, I rented it immediately. It turned out pretty solid, even if it felt like an Alien rehash with less tension. I am unfamiliar with director Daniel Espinosa, but he handles his task well, getting good performances out of a demanding genre and never feeling lost in the shuffle. The score is appropriately optimistic and ominous in turns, and I have no complaints about the cinematography. It is well edited to retain its sense of claustrophobia while balancing that mood with the wonders of space. The central theme of science pushing itself (possibly too far) is given a cool final twist that will leave a memorable impression and possibly open the door to a sequel, but overall this seems like more of a paycheck film than anything else. It adds nothing new to its genre, though the alien is pretty cool once it quickly evolves, but doesn’t do science fiction a disservice either. As a huge fan of Sunshine, I loved seeing Hiroyuki Sanada back in a space movie, even if it didn’t live up to that standard. This is a solid thriller that does a lot of things right without doing anything remarkable.


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