Review: Full-throttle alien thrills with Life

David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson)
David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson)

Matt Adcock reviews Life (15), starring Jake Gyllenhaal

Welcome to a gloop-em-up sci-fi horror thriller detailing mankind’s first contact with an alien lifeform.

We get to join the crew aboard the International Space Station as they manage to dock with a space probe returning from Mars. On board the capsule is ‘Calvin’ – a microbe which is the first proof of extra-terrestrial life. Does the little alien come in peace? Hmm – not so much.

The alien organism (superbly brought to life with cutting edge CGI) is like nothing humans have ever encountered before – having the capacity to be ‘muscle, brain and eye’ all at the same time. Oh, and it’s not a spoiler for anyone who has seen the trailer to let you know that it isn’t very friendly either.

This might sound a little like Ridley Scott’s Alien just not so far in the future – and it is - so you’ll know what to expect. The beastie grows and gets hostile – the crew panic and realise they are trapped aboard the ISS with a rapidly growing threat, which they really don’t want to let get to earth.

Speaking of the crew, they are a likeable bunch made up of Dr David Jordan (Jake ‘Nocturnal Animals’ Gyllenhaal), Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca ‘Girl on the Train’ Ferguson), Hugh Derry (Ariyon Bakare), Sho Kendo (Hiroyuki ‘Sunshine’ Sanada), Katerina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya) and Rory Adams (Ryan ‘Deadpool’ Reynolds).

Cue lots of running, screaming and dying with at least one really unforgettable death and a decent array of scares along for the ride. Director Daniel ‘Safe House’ Espinosa has crafted an exciting space survival flick that might not be very original but certainly delivers on the sci-fi thrills.

If this is a parallel to the classic Alien, I’d be excited to see a follow up ‘Aliens’ equivalent where we try and take the fight to these lifeforms, although the potential Alien vs Life vs Predator might not be the way forward.

Fans of sci-fi should sign up immediately for this adventure - it’s a full-throttle nail-biting thrill ride which delivers a frightfully fun night out.