Let me preface this post by saying that I am a big Natalie Portman fan, I’m a self proclaimed “Portmanhead” as I previously stated on twitter (@bguffalo). Now, I’d like to think I’ve recently become somewhat a cinephile, so I have to catch up quite a bit on all the Natalie Portman movies (Black Swan first up). But, the first movie I saw with Natalie Portman was No Strings Attached and I think I fell in love. Now, on to Annihilation!
Annihilation centers around Lena, a biology professor who is also a former Army Ranger, and she believes her husband, Kane, who is also in the army is dead after being gone foe a year. Out of nowhere one weekend he returns but he is changed and becomes extremely ill. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance is run off the road by black government vehicles. They take her and husband to this government facility. Where we find out from Dr. Ventress about “The Shimmer.”
Now, the Shimmer was created after a meteor hit a lighthouse. Now, the Shimmer is presented as some sort of force field that continues to grow. It is such a wild and crazy place. Light is refracted, plants seem to grow as one, and even wild life is changed genetically. They find out the DNA of plants and animals within the Shimmer has become refracted (I’m still trying to comprehend that).
Thematically, the whole movie centers around self destruction. Lena has exhibited self destructive tendencies. It is revealed she cheated on her husband because she hates herself as her extramarital lover put it. But I really liked this quote from Dr. Ventress.
“Almost none of us commit suicide, whereas almost all of us self-destruct. Somehow. In some part of our lives. We drink, or take drugs, or destabilize the happy job or happy marriage.”
She then asks Lena if it self destruction is coded in our DNA. I found this to be very true. I’m a big fan of sports and there are many times where there are star athletes who make millions of dollars to play a sport, but there are some athletes who throw this all away due to self destruction. This really made did make me think about my life and how I ruined my own happiness over petty and foolish things.
Now the ending of the film is truly a Sci-Fi lovers DREAM! I won’t go into much detail because I am still trying to comprehend. It goes into Doppelgängers and all that fun stuff.
Overall I really did enjoy this film and I’m really pulling for some sort of sequel. But due to very weird distribution rights in which Paramount distributes the film the US and China and Netflix distributes it everywhere else, I’m not too sure what we’ll see. I would give this film an 8/10.