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Curiosity Killed the Rat: “Life” Movie Review

courtesy of IMDb

courtesy of IMDb

MATTHEW MAPA, MS STAFF WRITER

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   A new era of alien horror was brought to life with the release of the new movie “Life.” Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds as astronauts on the International Space Station. The film, released on March 24, is an R-rated sci-fi horror thriller, and earned $12 million dollars in its opening weekend.

   “Life” opens up in the middle of the action, with the astronauts retrieving a satellite containing rock samples from the planet Mars as part of the Pilgrim mission. In the samples, the astronauts discover and revive a living organism, the first proof of life outside Earth, and place it in a contained lab on the ISS. After extensive observation through a microscope, the astronauts learn that the organism’s cells all serve multiple functions, being described as “all muscle, all brain, and all eye.” The organism is even humanized and is named Calvin back on Earth, and the achievement is received with great joy.

   At first, Calvin seems similar to a lion cub, as it is depicted as playful like other young animals. However, after an environmental malfunction, Calvin’s true nature is revealed when it awakens from a state of hibernation and attacks his astronaut “handler.” From this point onward, Calvin surpasses humans as the top of the food chain, and it demonstrates abilities that are better seen than told. The astronauts’ mission shifts from discovery to survival, as they work to save Earth and themselves from the monster they unknowingly awakened.

   “Life” was enjoyable because it certainly fulfills its horror aspect, but also warns the viewer of the dangers of curiosity. After watching this movie, it is apparent that none of the events would have occurred if the astronauts hadn’t awakened Calvin and set into motion events that they couldn’t comprehend or plan for. This aspect of “Life” makes it a more rewarding experience after watching the movie, as it allows for greater contemplation of the causes and effects that ultimately build up the plot of the movie.

   “Life” also has many of the qualities that make a good movie worthy of your time and admission, such as its great cast and solid plot. I was first drawn to the movie by the trailer, which showed a star cast, including Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds, and the movie’s acting was a testament to their dramatic abilities. Meanwhile, the movie’s plot tells an interesting story without stepping over any boundaries of logic or science, and has an entertaining and ironic twist to conclude the film. These factors made “Life” a good movie.

   In whole, I highly recommend watching “Life.” The movie has the same thrill from other films in the same genre, such as “Alien” and “Predator”, and has received relatively positive reviews from other press sources.

   “It ain’t rocket science but it does what it does well — even, one might say, with a kind of genius,” wrote Michael O’Sullivan, a critic from the Washington Post.

While lacking perfection, as everything is, “Life’s” solid plot, a great cast, and a strong underlying message sets a standard for future alien/science fiction movies coming out later this year.

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One Response to “Curiosity Killed the Rat: “Life” Movie Review”

  1. Rita Mapa on April 4th, 2017 4:06 pm

    😊

    [Reply]

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Curiosity Killed the Rat: “Life” Movie Review