Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL for sci-fi films, and even more than that I love space movies. I can still remember the night my parents let me stay up to watch Alien with them, and how I had nightmares for weeks after. I saw Interstellar on my 20th birthday and cried through it because my god, was that an incredible story. I was on the edge of my seat throughout Gravity, awestruck by the horrifyingly realistic story and the incredibly breathtaking cinematography (there was a time in my life where I absolutely idolized Chivo, and still do if I’m being honest).
Life however pretty much sucked all the life out of me.
Which I guess is good, because it seems that was the only intention in making this movie. I mean, we can stretch it and say all this hubbub over NASA discovering seven new planets and a slew of other feats and headliners from the past several years may have inspired a story such as this. And is it really a stretch to say “we all think about what life may be like beyond Earth, but rarely do we consider that it could be awful, dangerous, deadly…” insert some other synonym for FUCKING BAD.
In Life, a group of scientists gather soil samples from Mars and find that something is alive in there. Beginning as an innocent little single-celled organism, the endearing discovery is named “Calvin”, and is loved by our main characters until suddenly it snaps off a few of Ariyon Bakare’s fingers and immediately kills of Ryan Reynolds.
This is the moment I literally swallowed vomit, as Calvin slithers–nay, FORCES HIMSELF–down Deadpool’s throat and eat his insides (quick question: would Deadpool actually win in that scenario considering he regenerates?)I dunno, I’m not really a sympathy pucker but anything that is clearly gagging makes me start to gag too. So when Calvin decided he didn’t want to inhabit Reynold’s intestines any longer, the long shot of him gurgling back up made my stomach turn.
As Calvin picks off the astronauts one by one, you can kind of see his intent. He clearly wants more food/oxygen/whatever the fuck space octopi need to survive, and won’t stop until…I guess until he’s dead??? Queue Jake Gyllenhaal’s quick thinking. He creates a plan to lure Calvin into an emergency life pod and ship him off to deep space, with Jake in tow. Meanwhile, other astronaut with a small subplot of clearly having feelings for Gyllenhaal is meant to hop into the station’s remaining life pod and shuttle back to Earth. Somehow in all the spacey-explosiony confusion, we end up with Gyllenhaal and Calvin’s pod in a body of water near Asia, and the female Astronaut careening toward god knows where. Th film leaves us with a haunting image of fishermen approaching Calvin’s space pod and seeing Calvin’s nasty tentacles all over the pod, and the damn fishermen OPENING THE POD. WHY. WHY THE HELL. WOULD YOU DO THAT. WHEN YOU SEE A GODDAMN SPACE OCTOPUS SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF SOME GUY INSIDE.
While the ending remains somewhat open-ended (is a sequel in tow? Is there actually a sac of alien eggs in there waiting to hatch? How did so many fishing boats see this thing descend to earth but NO ONE heard the Titanic’s distress call?) the message is clear: hows about we stop fucking around in space and deal with the shit we have on Earth? GREAT QUESTION, and thanks for exploring that for me before I actually vomited.
Seriously. The amount of slithering down things Calvin did as well as his eerily familiar characteristics tempted me to walk out and give this film a Burnt rating (might I add the first ever Burnt I would be administering). However, I would say the few redeeming qualities–an unbelievably unfair twist at the end and an exciting and horrifying story to start out with–brings the score up. However, you might want to count every single time logic is lost in the story, as it might be the only way you don’t get too creeped out by the idea of Calvin visiting Earth…