Annihilation is director Alex Garland’s return to the sci-fi genre after 2014 AI thriller, Ex Machina, which still gives me nightmares of Oscar Isaac dancing with robots.
Soo before I praise this movie, I have to walk back a few comments I made earlier this year. After I saw the trailer I had some ‘thoughts’ and none of them were favorable. Let’s quickly take a look at what I wrote about this film prior to actually seeing it:
I am sooo excited to see what Natalie Portman is willing to do for a paycheck. The premise of this movie is literally the Adventureland trilogy from Southpark and they’re fighting Manbearpig except they are taking it soo seriously.
Natalie Portman has never been in a good movie as an adult. Add Annihilation to the pile of nonsense that she dives head first into so she can continue building her castle walls. I will be there on opening night laughing my ass off at the idea of Natalie Portman holding a gun.
It takes a big person to admit when they’re wrong. Alex Garland created a movie that made me question all of my beliefs and want to stay indoors for the rest of my life to avoid being swallowed by an albino crocodile with shark teeth.
How do I explain this plot?
Natalie Portman‘s husband, Oscar Isaac, goes on a mysterious military mission only to return one year later spitting up blood and having seizures and shit. Natalie quickly realizes that her husband was essentially sent on a suicide mission into the ‘Shimmer’, an expanding radiant light covering a swamp that seems to murder everyone who steps inside. I’m getting anxious thinking about this Shimmer again.
So naturally, after waves of dead soldiers enter the Shimmer without returning, Psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) leads a team of bad ass women holding gigantic guns to march in there and get some answers once and for all.
What makes Annihilation an instant sci-fi classic are the amazing visuals of this mutating world of gorgeous flowers and rainbow skies. This movie is so bright while being simultaneously disturbing.
Alien has a unique look. Blade Runner has a unique look. And now Annihilation has pulled off the arduous task of creating its own unique look that includes a bear who steals the voice of the last woman it kills so every time it opens its mouth all you hear is Tuva Novotny screaming for her life.
But it’s not simply the spectacular visual marvels that make this film special but it’s the small conversations between this talented cast. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Natalie Portman’s late night talk about self-destruction and suicide was affecting and perfectly grounded a movie in which a man’s stomach is cut open to see his insides literally circling his body like a hula-hoop.
Give me a psychedelic confusing LSD acid test 2001: Space Odyssey 20-minute ending in every movie, please. Am I me? Am I you? [lights grenade].
My mood for the remainder of 2018 is Tessa Thompson just morphing into a bush. Goals.
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