Having Bruce Willis‘ name attached to your movie means nothing anymore these days. He has his loyal fan base, but for some reason the actor doesn’t seem to care about quality. So is his newest movie “Die Hard in Space”? Not exactly.
Anti-Life is a sci-fi thriller with a rather well known cast starring Bruce Willis, Cody Kearsley (Riverdale) and Thomas Jane (The Mist). Set about 200 years in the future, a spaceship flees a devastating plague on planet Earth with a few thousand survivors on board – the last remnants of humanity. But the ship has a stowaway: a shape-shifting alien whose goal is to slaughter everyone on board. Clay Young (Willis) and his team are a hardened group of mechanics picked to stay awake and maintain the interstellar ark. What follows is a cheesy, violent mess that has little flesh on its bones but entertains as a B-movie.
The film’s VFX is distractingly awful, although the make up of some of these humans-turned-space zombies’ victims is gruesomely impressive. The dystopian futuristic looking spaceship isn’t anything groundbreaking, but is still effective in its simplicity. Anti-Life starts off slow and borrows from films such as Passengers, Alien and Pandorum. Luckily when the ship’s stowaway presents itself in the form of a parasite, the action spikes the pace and with a few action packed scenes in store it ultimately does derail in its final minutes.
It’s actually Kearsley who impresses as the lead surrounded by seasoned actors. He plays a stowaway himself, whose pregnant girlfriend is the ship’s admiral’s daughter, and currently in a six month cryo-sleep. No one knows he’s illegal on the ship and he ends up getting picked to stay awake and take on a job as a janitor. While the rest of the crew loves getting drunk on self made moonshine with a hint of rocket fuel, Noah tries to keep his head low while secretly chatting to his sleeping girlfriend. As more and more crew members start getting infected, Noah has to team up with a group of co-workers with a race against time to stop the alien who seems to want to infect the sleeping civilians and destroy everyone in its way to the ship’s reactor.
Director John Suits (Bad Milo!) and screenwriters Edward Drake (Broil) and Corey Large (In Like Flynn) attempt to create some sort of slow-building terror to then quickly switch over to action-packed horror, and luckily their film doesn’t overstay its welcome with a 93 minute runtime. The actors do a fine job, but it’s the script that’s painfully cringey and becomes more laughable the closer we get to reaching the ship’s destination.
Often lazily derivative in execution, Anti-Life establishes Bruce Willis’ status as an A-lister turned B-movie enthusiast. A dark, gory, zombie/parasite space feature that takes itself serious one too many times, undeniably ruining the fun in the end.
Signature Entertainment presents Anti-Life on Digital Platforms 12th February and DVD 15th February
Review – ‘Anti-Life’
Reviewed online (screener provided by Signature Entertainment), February 11, 2021. Rating: Cert 15. Running time: 93 min.
PRODUCTION: (UK) A Signature Entertainment release of a 308 Ent, Almost Never Films Inc. production in association with Aloe Entertainment. Producers: Corey Large, Danny Roth. Executive producers: Mary Aloe, Shanan Becker, William V. Bromley, Danny H. Chan, Matt Cohen, Mike Donovan, Roger Dorman, Edward Drake, Stephen Eads, David Fannon, Ryan Charles Griffin, Alexander Kane, Andrew Kotliar, Benjamin Krause, Johnny Messner, Seth Needle, Jonathan Saba, Ness Saban, Carlos Valazquez, Elizabeth Zavoyskiy.
CREW: Director: John Suits. Screenplay: Edward Drake, Corey Large. Cinematography: Will Stone. Music: Scott Glasgow.
CAST: Cody Kearsley, Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols, Kassandra Clementi, Johnny Messner, Corey Large, Callan Mulvey, Timothy V. Murphy, Johann Urb, Thomas Jane.