The crew of the International Space Station retrieve a probe containing samples from the Martian soil and discover an ancient form of life.
Life, for all its impressive visuals and strong cast, is a very generic sci-fi horror thriller. It’s of the “ignorant scientists foolishly unleash something that they don’t understand” school and takes its cues most obviously from Alien, but also the “disaster movie in space” formula of Gravity and even a hint of Predator in its handling of the hostile alien life form. The cast are solid – although they are always playing second fiddle to the special effects – and it’s all efficiently engineered. The main problem lies with the fact that it pales in comparison to its main influence; it is nowhere near as atmospheric as Ridley Scott’s landmark film and a kind of floaty, translucent flatworm with wings is nowhere near as threatening as H. R. Giger’s creation.
Life is nicely done and has enough thrills and tension to entertain, but anyone with more than a passing familiarity with the genre will experience a little too much in the way of deja vu.