I am definitely not smart enough for this movie.
Annihilation opens with a meteor hitting the earth near a small coastal town. This causes a mysterious area, dubbed “The Shimmer”, to form and cause everything inside of it to mutate. A team of scientists, led by Natalie Portman, enter The Shimmer to try and find out what is causing it and how dangerous it truly is.
I’ll be honest, I saw this like two weeks ago but have been so busy I had not gotten around to reviewing it. The isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I really needed some time to think about this movie. Some crazy stuff happens in here and I won’t get into to much of it to avoid spoilers. The movie gets into some heavy themes and ideas that I personally had a hard time getting my head around. It raises a lot of questions, answers some, but leaves a lot to interpretation. With all that said, I found myself really enjoying this movie. Alex Garland is an interesting up and coming director who I feel like has some brilliance behind his work, between this and the excellent Ex Machina. The premise of the movie is interesting and actually gets fleshed out a decent amount. The idea of everything inside The Shimmer mutating leads to come incredible visuals. While I wish this was explored a little more, it was still without a doubt my favorite part of the movie. All of the acting is good, with Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson really standing out. The movie crosses between genres well and at times feels like a Sci-fi film, others it feels like a drama, and even has some moments of horror. The mix works really well.
While I liked this movie a lot, it has plenty of problems. Like I said, it raises more questions that answers. While this is clearly intentional, it will alienate those who aren’t into the heavy Sci-fi movies. Oscar Issac feels wasted in a role that really anyone could have played. There are times when the pacing feels a bit off, as well. I also wish they would have spent a little more time exploring the ideas they presented. I found myself really wanting to spend more time in the world Garland created.
While by no means perfect, Annihilation is a strong movie that I found very entertaining. Despite biting off and attempting to do a lot (even feeling like a Kubrick film at times), most of it works. I definitely can’t recommend it to everyone, but those that like Sci-fi think pieces should get some enjoyment out of it. Annihilation continues a relatively strong 2018 so far, and I’ll give it a 4/5.
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