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“Annihilation” takes risks to create a thought-provoking story

Kason Clark

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Natalie Portman and team of female scientists and soldiers head into the mysterious entity called “The Shimmer” in ‘Annihilation.’ This film starred Portman (‘Black Swan’), Oscar Isaac (‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (‘The Hateful Eight’) and was directed by Alex Garland (‘Ex Machina’). In this science-fiction film, a meteorite crashes into Earth and starts a phenomenon that slowly engulfs everything in its path and it is up a to a team of scientists to figure out what it is doing to the environment.

Portman shone in this film as the main protagonist, Lena. She commanded the screen and brought her character to life. She had the responsibility of carrying the film since she had far more screen time than the other characters, and she was up to the task. The rest of the cast gave solid performances, but they did not have screen time nor material to make as strong an impact as Portman.

This film created a unique and beautiful world with the Shimmer. From hybrid animals to crystallized vegetation, the world building in this film offered visuals that have probably never been seen before on screen. Seeing this world come to life on the big screen only amplified both its beauty and the mystery of what it could do to civilization.

The movie does have some pacing issues. The first 30 minutes took too long to set up the plot and the characters. However, once the protagonist and her colleagues go into the Shimmer, the plot became more engaging and the rest of the film flew by.

‘Annihilation’ does not play it safe and it challenges the audience. This could make viewers appreciate the risks it takes and how it does not feed the answers or the moral of the story to you. People will love talking about this film and what it ultimately means.

However, this might make the film unsatisfactory for mass audiences who just want something easily digestible. They may wish they could “get it” and then move on with their lives. Even the critic writing this review is still contemplating the climax of the film and what it meant.

While ‘Annihilation’ might challenge viewers more than they would like, it should at least entertain them with the mystery of the story and the spectacle of the Shimmer. Cerebral science-fiction films like these do not come out that often which makes this film a strong recommendation. ‘Annihilation’ has earned:

8.5/10

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“Annihilation” takes risks to create a thought-provoking story