- Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Life.”
With a lackluster $12.6 million earned in its opening weekend at the box office and a 67% rating on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the sci-fi thriller “Life” is one of those movies you either love or hate.
But one part of the movie everyone seems to be universally positive about is its ending.
The movie ends with the last two survivors on the International Space Station, Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson) and David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal), coming up with a plan to kill the alien on board, which has been named Calvin.
As the alien needs oxygen to survive, they shut down the ISS and lead Calvin to one of the two escape pods. David will stay in the pod and drive it into deep space, where he and Calvin will eventually die, while Miranda takes the other and goes back to Earth.
Things go wrong, however, and with some clever sleight-of-hand editing we are shocked to find that Calvin overpowered David to fly the pod back to Earth and that Miranda’s ship, after hitting some debris, malfunctioned and floated out into deep space.
In a movie that’s pretty predictable by the standards of a creature feature, the ending to “Life” is a welcome sight.
In fact, director Daniel Espinoza said it was the powerful ending that persuaded him to make the movie.
“I thought that the ending was so surprising,” Espinoza told Business Insider. “When I went to the first meeting about the script I told them my vision about how I wanted to do the movie, but at the end of the meeting I had to confront them and ask sincerely if they want to make this ending. Because if they wanted to do this as a competition and test-screen different endings and find which works best, as what’s often done, I said to them we might want to go our separate ways.”
But to Espinosa’s shock, Sony, the studio behind the movie, was all for making the original ending.
“Which was astounding to me,” Espinosa said. “To have a studio that would actually support you about the finality of the picture. It was never debated.”
Espinosa compares the “Life” ending to that of an old film noir, which often ends with a pessimistic view on the world.
“I agree with that,” he said. “That’s what we were pointing to here.”
“Life” is playing in theaters.