Movie Review: ‘Annihilation’

February 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews, scifi/fantasy | Leave a comment

While Black Panther may be hogging up all the headlines, there are other movies out there, and Annihilation is one worth noting. With a dominant female cast, a bizzare alien otherworldliness, and an interesting story that is one part character exploration and one part journey into the unknown, it’s a film that entertains on multiple levels. It’s not a fast paced action film, but for those who enjoy a good visual feast of creative imagination, this one delivers.

At the heart of the film is Natalie Portman’s character Lena. She’s ex-army and currently a bioligist. She gets wrapped up in a government group that’s trying to study an alien entity that’s changing the environment and steadily growing. So far, they’ve learned nothing about it. Lena is recruited along with four other women to explore the area that’s being reshaped by the alien presence and to find its source to see if it can be stopped. Thus you get Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny joining Natalie Portman on this sci-fi exploration adventure. As they get closer to the source, they see weirder and weirder things. Along the way, we learn more about Lena and her husband who went missing, who is played by Oscar Isaac. We also learn more about the alien presence.

There’s two key strengths to this film. On one hand, there’s the mystery. What is happening? What’s inside the event zone? Who is Lena and what’s going on with her relationship with her husband? What’s going on with the other characters? There are lots of small threads that weave their way into the story to subtly build it into more tantalizing directions. Questions arise and questions are answered. Yet the mystery alone falls short of the visual splendor of the bizzare alienness of the environment they venture into. From the flowers to the animals, it’s wild, beautiful and horrifying. It’s strange and fanciful, magnificent and terrifying. The story doesn’t give you all the answers, only enough to lead you along the way as events play out. The landscape adds to the mystery as it raises questions about what is happening and what mad mind could be behind all of this. Thankfully, the visual effects in the movie are excellent and they do a great job of bringing this exotic wonderland of strangeness to life.

In the end, Annihilation is something very different, and probably not for everyone. If you like things that are weird, that dive deep into the imagination, and explore areas of sci-fi and fantasy, then this may be the movie for you. Annihilation is a visual splendor of sci-fi exploration that offers something different for audiences. I thoroughly enjoyed it and give it a four out of five metal bikinis. Like I mentioned earlier, it doesn’t answer everything, which may be in part to this movie being based on a trilogy of books, so we may get more movies in this series. However, Annihilation stands pretty well on it’s own and certainly generates interest that might move people toward checking out the books. I know I’m interested in checking them out to see what other answers are out there and where this story is heading.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.
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