Alex Garland makes his directorial return since his 2014 hit, Ex Machina. Unlike Ex Machina, Garland’s new film, Annihilation, deals with a lot more than artificial intelligence, but can it match up to the quality of his recent success?
Annihilation tells the story of Lena (Natalie Portman), a biologist who volunteers with a group of other scientists to journey inside of a mysterious energy field known as “The Shimmer.” They go inside looking for answers, but what they find is beyond their comprehension.
Being a huge fan of Ex Machina, I went into Annihilation with pretty high expectations. I gotta say, I was not disappointed. Garland continues to bring amazing visuals. Every effect, environment, and creature looks simply stunning. Everything is so mesmerizing that I couldn’t help but stare at the background more than the actors.
Annihilation also brings some phenomenal acting. Natalie Portman’s acting stands out just as much as her co-stars. I felt invested in every character as the movie progressed. Some actors, like Oscar Isaac or Jennifer Jason Leigh, weren’t as prevalent as I would have liked them to be, but they did well for their short runtime.
I found the story of Annihilation to be truly unique. I had a hard time trying to compare it to other sci-fi or horror films. The mysteries of this movie are so intriguing. It never lost my attention. Having said that, this is definitely not a movie for everybody. If you’re hoping to get definite answers from the mysteries of this movie, you probably shouldn’t see it. Alex Garland directs Annihilation with the intention of being vague so that the audience can fear the unknown just as the characters do. I found that to be extremely entertaining but I also know that some will find that annoying.
Annihilation proves Alex Garland to be one of the best modern sci-fi directors by bringing amazing visuals, great acting, and a complex plot. But at the end of the day, this movie is an acquired taste and I would not recommend it to everyone.
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