Ryan Reynolds movies are like Klondike Bars…there are times when I would absolutely kill for a good one, and my growing pile of wrappers and corpses tells a long and convoluted tale of an overweight movie buff who never got over how bad Green Lantern was.
To be fair, 2017’s Life isn’t just a Ryan Reynolds movie. In fact, it’s much more of a Jake-Gyllenhaal-centric movie featuring other talented actors. When I saw the trailer, I actually assumed it was a Venom origin story, since it includes a symbiote-like creature. To the contrary, Life is a movie entirely in its own creative space.
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the creative duo behind Deadpool and Zombieland, Life is an outer space movie filled with tension, beautiful cinematography, compelling characters, and an intensely frightening creature named Calvin. I wasn’t expecting much going in, since space movies in the past decade have mainly been visually stunning but lacking in almost every other aspect. Much to my surprise, I found that I loved this movie nearly as much as Alien or 2020’s Underwater.
The movie starts mid-adventure: the team aboard the International Space Station has discovered an alien life just outside their orbit, and their quip-savvy mechanic (Ryan Reynolds) is risking his life floating outside the ISS trying to force the debris carrying the microscopic alien into their orbit. Although the world rejoices at the discovery of extraterrestrial life, the astronauts aboard the ISS are soon faced with grave danger presented by the creature’s intelligence…and also its hunger.
I’ll give it to Reese and Wernick, they know how to make me like a character with just a few lines of dialogue. Their scripts also tend to be action-heavy in all the right ways, making that two-hour runtime a little more bearable.
The grotesque visuals throughout the movie are also well-done, and witnesses can attest that I squirmed in my seat and nearly vomited during the creature’s first “attack” scene (which, by the way, started with a friendly cuddle…so it goes, so it goes.)
Life might not be everyone’s favorite outer space horror movie, but it did wonders for my appreciation of the subgenre. At the very least, it will was the taste of Alien: Covenant out of your mouth.
Throughout the month of October, I’ll be reviewing 31 movies I’ve never seen before. Is there an excellent movie you think I haven’t seen? Tell me in the comments below, and I’ll check it out!