Annihilation Film Review

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
February 26th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Review of: Annihilation

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On February 26, 2018
Last modified:February 26, 2018

Summary:

Annihilation is a through-provoking look into sci-fi conventions, focused on explaining humanity and our issues.

Review of: Annihilation

Reviewed by:
Rating:

4
On February 26, 2018
Last modified:February 26, 2018

Summary:

Annihilation is a through-provoking look into sci-fi conventions, focused on explaining humanity and our issues.

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Annihilation Film Review

Paramount/Netflix

Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).

Alex Garland made a new for himself with the 2015 hit Ex Machina, which delivered another high-concept science fiction to our screens, using his skilled writing abilities to maximize its impact. Earning the director multiple nominations from both Oscar’s to BAFTA awards, lauded as the most inuring film of our generation: balancing themes of humanity and creation. It, without doubt, put him in the eyes of Hollywood, and now Garland is tacking the complicated novel Annihilation. Another high-concept sci-fi movie, which delivers a stunning visual style and terrific performances from strong female actresses. It’s a rare film, that doesn’t rely on action instead it focuses on characters - making the audience actually about their journey into new worlds.

Annihilation focuses on army veteran and academic biologist Lena (Natalie Portman), as she comes to turn with husband Kane (Oscar Isaac) change in personality after returning from a mission in Area X. Kane falls ill in the process, pushing for the Southern Reach unit to recruit Lena (Natalie Portman) on a return visit to Area X. In an effort to save her husband, Lena joins in an expedition into the shimmer, which is lead by Dr. Ventress: determined to reach the source of another dimension. They are all joined by Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez, Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson) and Cass Shepherd (Tuva Novotny).  However amits the shimmer, they uncover the reasons it landed on Earth and the dangers it brings. I won't spoil these twists, but fans of Garland's previous work and advanced sci-fi concepts are in for a treat.

Annihilation is a high-concept science fiction movie, which offers more intellectual thrills that the competition - as Garland blends his unique approach to filmmaking with pushes for compelling emotional moments. Garland celebrates ideas from the novel, including the non-linear timeline while injecting a new sense of discovery, making Annihilation a captivating visual experience. Disorientating audiences, giving the audience a sense of belonging to characters on screen all elevated due to Garland’s perfect work behind the camera. Allowing the films brutal scenes and visuals come to life, with cinematographer Rob Hardy pulling no strings. It’s a merger of nightmarish landscapes, and beautiful glimpses of shimmer: making Anniliation one of the prettiest visuals treats of 2018.

Paramount/Netflix

The five female leads Portman, Leigh, Thompson, Rogreiuex, and Novotny all deliver complex performances with each character given serious development. Natalie Portman is Lena a scientist fascinated by the shimmer and devoted wife to her husband. Portman delivers another solid performance putting the characters imperfections on the front line, as Garland devotes time to establishing these faults. Jessica Jason Leigh also plays her part well despite the character's backstory never fully shown and instead is alluded to. Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny all do their best and complete the film’s set of strong female characters.

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Annihilation is a through-provoking look into sci-fi conventions, focused on explaining humanity and our issues. Garland brings together a solid adaptation of VanderMeer’s novel of the same year, with his own universal praised style. It takes risks other movies, are afraid to embrace and doesn’t hold the audience's hand throughout its runtime. Annilaltion is a celebration of sci-fi filmmaking in the modern era. Garland is the savor of modern day sci-fi and needs to be commended for his bravery tackling these strong themes. While it won’t be for everyone. I have to give props for Netflix and Paramount in funding such a complex adventure. Because this is a definite win for both parties.

4/5

Annihilation

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Annihilation is a through-provoking look into sci-fi conventions, focused on explaining humanity and our issues.

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