Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Life has some strong horror, but flimsy characters get lost in space

Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds and others float around one another for an intense but spark-free 103 minutes in Life.

Alex Bailey

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Life
Written by
Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Directed by
Daniel Espinosa
Starring
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

The hamster never stood a chance. And neither do the actors in Life, a so-so space-station suspenser with heavy actors and a zero-gravity script. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds and others float around one another for an intense but spark-free 103 minutes, their characters barely sketched.

Gyllenhaal is a doctor who doesn't want to return to Earth, because … well, because Syria. Ariyon Bakare is a paraplegic biologist who loves the space life, where he's not constrained to a wheelchair. Reynolds is the wisecracker. At first, a microscopic organism retrieved from Mars is a sort of pet to the scientist-astronauts and a celebrity in the eyes of those watching it on the Times Square big screen. They dub it Calvin. But soon, the crafty starfish-ian thing is a threat not only to the space station but to Earth itself.

Slotting somewhere between Alien and The Blob, the film has solid horror but little more. The ending is B-movie cheesy. Life is what you make of it. Good luck with that.

Story continues below advertisement

Video: Why years passed between the release of Goon and its sequel (The Canadian Press)
Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.