Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5. USA, 2017. Columbia Pictures, Skydance Media. Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick. Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey. Produced by Bonnie Curtis, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Julie Lynn. Music by Jon Ekstrand. Production Design by Nigel Phelps. Costume Design by Jenny Beavan. Film Editing by Mary Jo Markey, Frances Parker.
The crew aboard an international space station orbiting Earth capture a probe returning from Mars, carrying samples that could possibly answer the question of whether or not there is life on the red planet. It turns out there is, and…well, let’s just say our neighbours want more than just to borrow a cup of sugar. The organism that the scientists (and one glorified plumber, played by Ryan Reynolds) remove from the captured sediment, a tiny molecule that can only be seen under a microscope, quickly grows to be a leafy, gelatinous thing displaying amazing strength, then grows even larger into something menacing that needs to feed on the crew to survive. An easy atmosphere of scientific exploration soon becomes an on-board panic, the goal to not only survive but also contain this dangerous creature and prevent its heading to Earth where it could cause the destruction of the human race. Basically a remake of Alien with much less directorial style, this film wastes a talented cast and some pretty nifty visual effects in a humorless ninety minutes of murder by numbers. The plot is so determined to not be ridiculous that it is, as a result, boring; is there no one on this ship who needs to take a shower but accidentally leaves a drain unblocked? Why is there so little in the way of disgusting carnage? There are far worse films out there for anyone who enjoys their sci-fi mixed up with horror, but there’s no denying that you’ve seen this one before and better.