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Author Topic: ANNIHILATION (2018)  (Read 12 times)
jdv
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« on: June 13, 2018, 07:25:56 PM »

Part THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, THE THING, and all 3 INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, Alex Garland's ANNIHILATION is a surprisingly good scifi/horror movie starring Natalie Portman.

The plot is seemingly simple - an ex-Army biologist is thrust into an ever growing zone of shimmering waves into which no one ever returns from once entered.

Part of the box office failure of this movie is both the horrible title ("annihilation" could be about almost anything - WWII, a plague, an atomic bomb, yada), it's super slow, and it's told in a series of flashbacks.

Normally, anyone of the above would automatically make me hate it, yet this type of tale - paranoia mixed with a low burn end of the world - is prolly best told slowly.  Indeed, all of the above films are slowly paced.  Garland somewhat known for the skipping around flash-backy way of telling tales, but I'm not sure it helps this movie much... but it doesn't kill the movie either.

Portman herself is excellent in the film, one of the few believable women in an action movie (in part because it doesn't show her doing MATRIX-like flips, rather a proficient use of an AR-15).  The rest of the casr, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, is good, although Portman's love interest in somewhat mis-cast.

The action, when it happens, is good - violent, gory, hard-hitting, and believable - the movie does a good job of convincing the audience that the shimmer zone is the lat place on earf you want to be.

That's in no small part due to the many excellent special effects.  The zone looks a bit like WHAT DREAMS MAY COME, which is to say prettier than real life... and a whole lot more dangerous.

The music is minimal... until it isn't.  There's a boat-load of dope music/sound effects at the end of the movie, somewhat like the soundtrack from FORBIDDEN PLANET (albeit not on a theremin).  The sound effects, costumes, yada all what you'd expect from a big budget Hollywood flick.

Perhaps the best thing I can say about it is that it's worthy of the movies I listed above and while not an instant classic, it comes close.  I hope to re-watch it soon...

BOTTOM LINE: 3.5 (maybe 4) "get the gasoline, we gotta burn the rest of them..." out of 5
« Last Edit: June 13, 2018, 07:43:20 PM by jdv » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 07:38:21 PM »

I'll check it out!
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