starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Anyon Bakare and Olga Dihovochnaya
written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
directed by Daniel Espinosa
Originally, I saw this science fiction horror movie on an airplane last summer. I remember that I fell asleep watching it, and when I rented it and started watching it again at home I realized why. Boring and stupid! It’s very unusual for me not to finish a movie, but this is one of those times. You don’t need to bother watching it. Jake Gyllenhall is a big star. In Japan Hiroyuki Sanada is a star and I like him a lot. I think it was because of Sanada’s participation that I watched this film.
The unmanned Pilgrim 7 space probe is returning from Mars to the International Space Station with a soil sample that might contain evidence of extraterrestrial life when it enters an asteroid field and is severely damaged.
The six-member ISS crew captures the spacecraft and exobiologist Hugh Derry (Anyon Bakare) revives a dormant cell from the sample; it quickly grows into a multi-celled organism that American school children name “Calvin” in a nauseating display of the kind of crass, mawkish public relations that Americans seem to gravitate towards.
The organism grows, turns malignant, escapes its containment and then runs amok in the Space Station killing crew members one by one. The crew try going after it with lab burners, setting up a comparison with Alien (1979, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Signourney Weaver, John Hurt, Yaphet Koto, Harry Dean Stanton and others), in which the alien was hunted throughout the Nostromo with flame throwers. The idea is good, but the script and the story leave a lot to be desired. The cast represents significant talent, but …
The thing that gets me the most - the thing I hate the most - is the stupidity of the human crew. It reflects stupid screen writing, I think. An alien organism should be treated with extreme caution, not treated as a pet. It’s not cute. In Life quarantine protocols are ignored left, right and center. The crew stupidly allows the organism to escape by opening doors and air locks against their own regulations in order to “help” injured crewmates. But the injured crewmates are beyond saving, and the crew’s attempts to help only allow clever Calvin to escape isolation. I can count on my fingers each and every breach of professional scientific protocol: 1) don’t play with it; 2) kill it now; 3) don’t do that; 4) don’t open that door; 5) do this, not that; 6) don’t open that air lock; 7) abandon the space station now. The actors just didn’t listen to me.