I remember when I saw my very first science fiction film, Star Wars: A New Hope. There before my eyes flashed images of aliens, advanced technology, and extraordinary works of fiction. I was beside myself with awe and could not help but watch and re-watch the film to continue that experience of wonder. Since then a number of great science fiction films have come and gone. However, Annihilation has arrived and was unexpectedly incredible. So great in fact that it might be one of the best films in years.
Annihilation features Natalie Portman as a grieving widow by the name of Lena who unexpectedly encounters her husband Kane played by Oscar Isaac. Lena discovers that Kane, who is a highly skilled soldier, was sent into a unique area called ‘Shimmer’ that appeared from no where and he was the only one to come back. She decides to venture into this exotic land with a team who are determined to find out what is going on and bring an end to the shimmer.
It is then that chaos ensues.
While I will not spoil anything, I will say that the entire film is of misery and woe from the opening scene to the final one. Although you know that the situation these flawed characters face will only worsen, you can not help yourself but to continue watching. This feels like a modern writing of H.P. Lovecraft.
The aesthetics for Annihilation were second to none thanks to modern advances in CGI. Various concepts are presented to the viewer that goes beyond the realm of logic and then is accepted as the norm for this serious film. That feeling of awe that I got when I first saw A New Hope, that shock of so many fresh ideas came back to me during the screening. The story telling was filled of tension and dismay, it was common for the characters to make a wrong move and then follow it be with an even worse move but every action made sense because of the conflicts they faced.
Overall Annihilation will be a classic. Granted, I would only recommend this film to those who love science fiction. Fans who have no problem listening to techno babble, will ponder for a good while the meaning of certain actions or comments, and have an open discussion on the film with peers. For the common viewer I believe it will not be as enjoyable but still entertaining. There is action, romance, wonder, and more! For additional information, be sure to check out: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2798920/