There are very few movies these days that can make me take a second afterwards to collect my thoughts and put some pieces together. There has never been a movie where I took a second afterwards to figure out if my mind had in fact been raped or not.
Now, it’s not like there weren’t some amazing things about this movie, but I don’t want to get inside the mind that came up with some of that shit. I don’t even know how to talk about it without spoiling some of the best moments.
I had to look this up later to try and help my sanity a bit, so let me help you out so you don’t sit in your room silently whispering “what the fuck” to yourself over and over. The basic premise is this: what would happen if the world got cancer? The movie opens with a meteor hitting a lighthouse; that’s the foreign object that causes the Earth cancer. Then jump to Natalie Portman teaching a class on cancer cells. You don’t even have a chance to try and settle into the movie before weird shit starts happening. I don’t want to spoil any of the crazy moments, so let me get into some of my thoughts instead.
I mentioned the world cancer part and I don’t want to go too much into it for fear of ruining a lot of the key moments. However, I had a hard time believing WHY any of this was happening. The whole government response aspect is very weak to me. If this particular occurrence was actually happening, there wouldn’t be a small team being sent in every now and again for three years. There would be a platoon size invasion during the first few months with mobile laboratories and an army of scientists. It would have been over very quickly. But whatever, it’s more of an excuse for the weird shit and the environment-building than anything, and I’m okay with that. I can look past a stupid premise if it makes an entertaining movie. And I guess I should mention I WAS entertained. But there is no way in hell this is a movie for everyone. As a matter of fact, most people probably won’t like it. I actually like a good mindfuck, though.
This is probably my biggest complaint of the whole movie. I didn’t give a single shit about any of the people that showed up on screen. Don’t get me wrong, they are all great at what they do. I just had zero empathy for any of them. That can make a movie pretty rough going when the characters’ survival is a central premise. Even Oscar Isaac, who I normally fawn over, disappointed me. I don’t know if it’s the way they were written or just the overall feel of the movie, but I could not care less about any of them. That’s very much a shame considering all the talent they had.
This is hands down where the movie shines. I can forgive a great many flaws if the world they make is as interesting and terrifying as this one. The type of visuals you can create with an alien substance that mutates the world and the creatures in it is always a fun avenue to explore. That’s one thing this movie does very well. It made some of the most beautiful and pants-shittingly terrifying scenes in recent memory. You quickly realize the movie isn’t going to be a cakewalk when a fucking mutated alligator makes an appearance, and I won’t even begin to describe the nightmare fuel that shows up later. But the flowers, fungus, trees, and everything else you see is a testament to the special effects peeps.
Soooo…..it’s either a great movie or not. I may have liked it, but maybe not. It’s worth the watch, or maybe it isn’t…..Dear lord I don’t fucking know. I can at least say I was interested. I know for a fact I was entertained for two hours. I also know this movie is full of holes and flaws that a lot of people will not be able to get around. If you’re like me and enjoy some fucked up shit, you might like it. If you’re like my wife who can’t even watch a PREVIEW of a scary movie, do not go see it. Just trust me on this. I don’t think Annihilation is going to surprise anyone or get a lot of praise, but I think we need to see movies like it from time to time just to break the monotony of most of the bullshit that comes out these days. But I’ll be honest, I expected a little more from the guy that did Ex Machina.