Review: Annihilation

I don't know...

Lena (Natalie Portman) is a biologist whose husband, Kane (Oscar Isaac) went missing a year prior on a covert mission. When he suddenly reappears in bad shape, Lena is taking to a top secret facility. She meets with Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who explains her husband's mission consisted of him going into "The Shimmer." A strange bubble like substance engulfing an area of national park space. He's the only person they've sent in that has come back. Lena decides to join Ventress's mission into the Shimmer along with three other medical professionals/scientists. (played by Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny) 

I haven't read the book this film is based on so I can't comment on how well it's adapted, but I found this to be very thought provoking. After recently being let down with another scifi film, Mute, seeing this one meet high expectations was a relief. It's definitely weird and doesn't spell anything out for you, but it's quite the experience. 

I had read complaints about the film being slow, and it does take its time building, but it was never boring. I found all the quiet moments leading up to the main event to be very interesting and I wouldn't have cut any scenes. I appreciated how the film tried to build the world around them. When it comes to the characters themselves, aside from Lena the supporting cast get stories that are told, not seen and I think that worked really well here. We got to know a little of them and their professions, and that felt like enough.

The acting is strong from all around. At first it was hard to get used to Jennifer Jason Leigh's Ventress. She speaks slowly and never shows any emotion. It felt like she was coming off a high of some sort, but that is eventually explained. The only questionable thing going on acting wise is Oscar Isaac's accent. He tries to give Kane a slight Southern drawl and it really backfires. Thankfully most of his scenes don't require him to speak. 

Of course all the talk around this film is what Paramount is doing it. Apparently there were a lot of disagreements leading up to distribution on whether or not the film was going to be too complicated and Paramount ended up handing over distribution rights to Netflix, thus ruining its box office. It starts streaming on (I believe) March 16th everywhere, but I'm glad I saw this on the big screen. It deserves to be supported there, and the sound alone made it worth it. I was thankful for that Dolby Atmos

I'm going to be turning this one over in my head for a while. I'm still not sure what all of it meant, but I enjoyed watching it. There is a scene in here that's absolutely terrifying. Without spoilers, if you've seen the film you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. I haven't been that unsettled in a film for a while.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "It's so hot when you patronize me." - Kane (Oscar Isaac)

19 comments:

  1. Awesome review. Can't wait! Shame that I can only watch it on Netflix and not in the cinema though. =(

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    1. Yes, a lot of people are going to be stuck with that unfortunately :( It won't be a bad watch on the small screen, I just liked the louder sound.

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  2. It's quite different from the book, but I think the major themes are there.
    We're definitely still digesting it.

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    1. I'm curious about reading them, but I don't want to view the movie differently now that I loved it so much.

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  3. "It's so hot when you patronize me." - MR. SCHLONG SAYS WHAT?!

    It's March 12. It sucks so bad because I'm hyped as hell the only thing worrying me are comparisons to Arrival which as we all know I hated violently

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    1. I guess I wasn't thinking of Arrival when I was watching it. It certainly starts out quiet like that, but they're very different movies.

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  4. I do want to see this as it was at my local multiplex. Yet, it's likely it will go away immediately as I hope there's a DVD release for the film later this year.

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    1. If you ever get around to getting Netflix it starts streaming there in March

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    2. I'll wait it for on DVD. Still not a fan of NetFlix.

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  5. I have not even heard about this which is typical. Your review makes me want to see this...well written!

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  6. I just saw this and OMG I am so happy I wasn't the only one who wanted to know WTF Oscar was doing with that accent.

    The movie is just one big WOW. I couldn't look away, even during the credits.

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    1. I was starting to think I was the only one because no one else was mentioning it. lol. I loved this. I'll definitely be watching it again when it comes on Netflix.

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  7. I loved Ex Machina so anything by Alex Garland has been on my list to see. Looking forward to it. Hopefully its better than the recent Netflix films as I was also let down by Mute

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  8. Hi there!

    I can recognize a bigger film fan than me when I see one and I can assure you that your blog is one of the fullest I’ve read. I just wanted to say that I enjoy your posts a lot. Those honest headings are also very entertaining xD

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    1. I'm sure I'm not a bigger fan, we're probably the same. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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