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Movie Review: 'Life' Has Enough Life to Become Franchise

by Todd A. Smith


Actor Ariyon Bakare seen at Columbia Pictures’ world premiere of “Life” at SXSW 2017 on March 18 in Austin, Texas (Photo Credit: Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Sony/AP Images).



Fascinating, Captivating and Exhilarating 



The new movie “Life” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal might put to rest the determination of NASA to find out if life can exist on the planet Mars.

Life might very well exist on other planets, but the danger that extra terrestrial life could place Earthlings in could actually be extremely catastrophic if the aliens find a way to land on Earth.

Ultimately, in the movie “Life,” astronauts have to determine what danger they would put themselves in to save the lives of everyone on planet Earth.

“Life” begins with a bang.  Filmmakers do not slowly creep into the plot of the film.  They hit the plot head on from Jump Street.

Six astronauts from across the globe are a part of the Mars Pilgrim 7 mission.

Unfortunately, the Mars capsule, which contains a sample of life on the red planet, is veering off course.

The whole purpose of the mission are the contents of that capsule so Rory Adams (Reynolds) agrees to perform a space walk in order to redirect the capsule and save the mission.

When the sample is brought on board the astronauts’ vessel, Hugh (Ariyon Bakare) uses his scientific expertise to examine the sample and study how life works for creatures on other planets.

The astronauts’ discovery is the talk of the planet Earth, and some children name the creature, which is actually just a small cell, Calvin after the name of their elementary school.

However, the fascination with Calvin turns to fear when Calvin begins to hibernate.

When Hugh electrically shocks Calvin in an attempt to wake him up, the cell grows from a small innocent creature to a huge, strong and intelligent life form that places everyone on the space vessel in danger.

However, the real danger from Calvin will come if the crew is not able to destroy it, by lowering the atmosphere, and it makes its way back to Earth.

“Life” is simply captivating, fascinating and exhilarating.

The film combines the beauty of space travel, the intense explosions of a true action film, emotional acting, which includes tears suspended in air because of a lack of gravity to star power from Reynolds and Gyllenhaal.

Before “Life,” Reynolds seemed more movie star than thespian.

But in “Life,” he still has that movie star quality with his good comedic talent.  However, he combines the aforementioned skills with emotions that haven’t always been present in movies like “Deadpool” and “R.I.P.D.”

While “Life” is obviously not a “Black film,” the movie does continue the surge of great roles for Black actors in Hollywood over the last couple of years.

Bakare’s role as Hugh, a Black British, paraplegic scientist is both brilliant and emotionally charged.

The friendship, admiration and loyalty that Hugh shares with Rory is refreshing also considering the political and racial climate in modern America.

The conclusion of “Life” is somewhat predictable because filmmakers often want to keep the potential for a sequel alive for such a big budget project.

Despite the predictability of the conclusion, a potential “Life 2” will probably be filled with more captivating, fascinating and exhilarating action scenes.


If “Life” did not put a damper on NASA’s obsession with Mars, it is likely that a sequel definitely will put a damper on that obsession.







This article was published on Friday 24 March, 2017.
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