Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity. From visionary writer and director Alex Garland (EX MACHINA, 28 DAYS LATER) and based on the acclaimed best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer.
What We Thought:
Somewhere in Annihilation is a fantastic science fiction film. Unfortunately the film as it is is overly cluttered and just never truly gets to where it should go.
I’ve never read the books the film is based on so I can’t compare it to those. I was told there are some big differences especially in Oscar Isaac’s character. He plays Natalie Portman’s husband who was part of an expedition and is the only person to make it out alive.
Even though I didn’t love the film, there are a lot of positives. The cinematography and direction are great. Alex Garland paints a fantastic picture. He also used music really well because the film has a great score. The special effects are pretty cool too. I didn’t walk out hating the CGI which is usually how I feel after movies like this.
My biggest issue is the pacing. A lot more could have happened in the same time frame. Either eliminate a character or two because ultimately they serve no purpose or make the movie feel like the end of the movie. The ending is cool and has a great sci-fi vibe and I guess I expected the rest of the movie to be that way.
I also didn’t care too much about the characters. You understand why Portman’s character wants to get involved, but the others don’t mean much by the end. Gina Rodriguez’s character was very stereotypical. We’ve seen the tough Lesbian a million times before and because we don’t really have a backstory, no one really cares what happens to her. Same for Tessa Thompson and the other actresses. To me the film is the story of Portman’s character, the rest are just filler until they are no longer useful.
With characters that were unnecessary and scenes that could be cut, Annihilation just isn’t the masterpiece I was hoping for. I’m a big fan of Garland and the cast and I also love sci-fi so I wanted to love this. The ending is visually stunning and opens the door for a sequel, but I don’t see this film doing much at the box office to warrant a second film. With all the talent this should have been a slamdunk for me, but ultimately it’s lackluster and something I’d probably never watch again.