Life is the exact opposite of Kong: Skull Island. Whereas Kong knew exactly what it was and embraced it, Life is a pretentious wannabe that flails around for far too long before ultimately turning into a cliche and running out of gas long before the credits roll.
Wanting desperately to be a genre-shaking art film which takes the science seriously and has something to say about extraterrestrial life, like the original Alien, instead director Daniel Espinosa‘s (Safe House) movie is a plodding, somber affair with nothing we haven’t seen multiple times before. Very early on, I lost track of number of extended sequences showing off the film’s art design set to ominous classical music. I get it, you guys liked 2001: A Space Odyssey. Unfortunately this isn’t the kind of movie you are making here.
Life is a bottle-show monster flick with a small group of people trapped with a creature they can’t understand let alone defeat. By the time Life gets around to throwing the pretension of actual science out the window and becomes a monster movie there’s little the latest tentacle monster can offer in way of surprise, let alone general horror.
“Chapter 7” begins to offer answers. With David (Dan Stevens) and his friends still locked away in the mental institution of his mind, and David further segmented from the group in the deepest recesses of his mind, Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) now controls all. Working through his troubles with another aspect of himself, David is able to piece together some basic facts about himself and the other consciousness which has been with him nearly his entire life. For those waiting for Legion’s paternity to be revealed there’s an awfully big reveal here. As for Lenny, he/she finally has a name.
“Duet” made me angry. Not because the musical episode failed to impress. No, the episode infuriated me because this is what I want from both Supergirl and The Flash and somehow you just know the writers of both shows will ignore all that works here as each show gets stuck back in the grim and grittiness of its current storylines. “Duet” is what I want both shows to be: bright, fun, energetic, and hopeful. This shouldn’t be a standout. This should be the bar both shows attempt to reach every single week. This year Supergirl has been more successful than The Flash in the regard, but both have struggled juggling darker themes and unnecessarily convoluted relationship drama getting in the way of the fun. I’m not saying never get serious, but embrace more zany hopeful storylines so that when you do need to take a serious moment it will have all the more impact (as opposed to episodes of moping or acting like a dick for weeks at a time to those who love and rely on you).
If the first two episodes of Iron Fist are about reintroducing Danny Rand (Finn Jones) to New York City, the second pair are about him reclaiming his family name. Free from the mental asylum (which apparently is fine, because no one ever peruses the escaped mental patient), but unable to claim his name from the Meechams, Danny hires Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) to fight for 51% of the company his father built. This becomes increasingly hard with Ward‘s (Tom Pelphrey) cronies destroying ever piece of evidence that Danny ever existed. Netflix’s TV universe continues to connect its shows only through supporting characters. Hogarth shows in a few episodes this season, and we’ll soon be seeing a certain nurse as well.