Rating (2.5 out of 5 )
Summary: It isn’t that “Annihilation” is a bad film, there just isn’t a lot good to say about the film. Everything, special effects, pace, soundtrack are all underwhelming. Someone has to delve deep to find meaning in the trudge through The Shimmer. If you don’t like movies lacking clarity and/or pace then “Annihilation” definitely is not for you.
Plot: Biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) misses her husband Kane (Oscar Issacs) who disappeared on a military mission over a year ago. The answer to his disappearance lies in The Shimmer, a strange phenomenon slowly spreading across a large area of the US. Lena and her teammates enter The Shimmer to uncover the secret.
Detail: Actresses who I look forward to watching, such as Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson were all lifeless and flat, portraying characters we simply didn’t care about. Dull and standoffish describes Lena from the very onset of the film. She mopes through The Shimmer and only showing life when she shoots the attacking crocodile. The only spark we see from Lena. I have said it before, and I will say it again. Unless you like the hero, the movie will be lost on the audience, which happened to me. I really didn’t care if the whole squad died.
There were a few redeemable parts. For example, when the mocking bear attacked. The bear creepily parrots their teammate screaming when opening its mouth. Unfortunately, these
The Shimmer mutates everything and makes a mirror image. You are hit over the head with the dividing cells concept, starting with Lena’s open discussion to her biology class, Dr. Ventress’s (Jennifer Jason Leigh) cancer and continuing into The Shimmer, especially when looking at the cells through a microscope. So it wasn’t really a surprise to the viewer that Kane was a duplicate and Lena is duplicated.
I am sure the director envisioned people would discuss the poignant theme of the movie afterwards. I was simply confused and had so many questions about what I felt were holes all around the script. But you know, I didn’t care about any of the characters, so I let it go. Had I cared about the characters a little, the questions would linger for days.