Annihilation Is A Strong Science Fiction Film That Is Beautifully Shot
A good science fiction film needs to have many different elements in order for it to work, but first and foremost is a good story. Annihilation has that and more. The film was recently released on DVD and BluRay, and is worth picking up.
Annihilation lays the foundation for their entire plot early on. A meteor crash lands on Earth by a lighthouse, and shortly afterwards a strange dome begins to cover the area. They call it the Shimmer, because the air around it shimmers in the light, creating a beautiful myriad of colours around its boundaries. Every team the military has sent into the Shimmer to find out what it is, and how to stop it from growing has failed, and no one has returned. That is, until Lena’s (Natalie Portman) husband comes back. Things are not right with him though, and after collapsing to the ground and coughing up blood, the military captures him and Lena. A biologist by trade, Lena decides to join a group of other female specialists to explore the Shimmer, and hopefully succeed where others have failed. Their mission is to get to the lighthouse and discover what the Shimmer is all about, and survive their mission. The only problem is, the world inside the Shimmer has changed the laws of nature, and things aren’t exactly what they seem.
The first thing that pops out at you while watching Annihilation on Bluray is how beautiful it looks. The cinematography is gorgeous, and the colour pops on the landscapes. The second thing that hits you is how basic the story is, yet how strong it is at the same time. While the basic premise of the entire movie is getting to the lighthouse, they introduce so many other elements in during the characters’ journey that you really find yourself curious as to what’s going on. By the time you get to the end, you’re not disappointed either. The problem with the film is the characters aren’t as strong as they could be. While the roles are all female, which is a nice twist for a change, they are almost cookie cutter roles that we’ve seen men play many times before. It would have been nice to see the women play something slightly different, to give a different flavour to the genre. Even Natalie Portman, who plays the main character of the film, calls in the role without adding anything unique. Still, even without characters you really had an interest in, the strong story and well shot film was enough to keep you interested. As for the special features on the disc, while there are several making-of documentaries that run over an hour in length all told, they aren’t overly interesting and can be skipped over.
Annihilation isn’t for everyone, in that there are some scary, gory scenes, but if that doesn’t bother you, you will enjoy it. It’s not an action packed film by any means, but the story is the show, and like writer/director Alex Garland’s last film Ex Machina, it’s the story that keeps you watching until the very end.
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