Annihilation, a movie adaptation from the novel of the same name, is a confusing story. The book is part of a trilogy and has no relation to the film except that both are fairly convoluted.
The movie has two storylines: a dying marriage that was based more on lust and youth than common interest and a comet that hits a lighthouse and forces mutations on everything around it. The comet creates a “shimmer”, which may or may not be made of bubble mixture goop because that’s what it looks like and inside the shimmer a whole lot of mutations are goin’ on and scientists want to know why.
Lena (Natalie Portman) is having an affair so her husband decides to go into the shimmer because he’s self-destructive and Jimmy Fallon’s been kind of dull lately. He’s gone for 12 months and returns ….. different. The government, an organization run by a tranquilized Jennifer Jason Leigh, kinda wants Lena to go into the shimmer with her to investigate the entity further. I write kinda because everyone in the film just meanders and moseys through their own story.
Lena and Jennifer don’t go in alone; they go into the bubble mixture goop with Jane the Virgin whose only special skill appears to be staring and whining, but to be fair she might be picking up on her malaise from being on a shitty CW show. There’s also Explainer Woman who explains everything all….the….time and I mean Morgan Freeman voiceover levels of explaining. There’s a lady who cuts herself (off camera) and whose special skill is to Explain Science with a voice that can only be described as sedated, interesting choice to prepare for every scene by eating a turkey sandwich and gravy.
They proceed to run into some weird predators and creepy deer; yep, creepy deer. As they get closer to the origin of the comet impact, the mutations are more and more pronounced. We are also treated to her husband via found video footage that the shimmer area is mutating him and his comrades that were all lost in the previous mission. There does not appear to be a motive to the mutations or any form of a goal on the part of the invasive comet. In many ways, the movie is a lot like the flora and fauna in the film; it is, it exists, and it will cost about 14.00 bucks to see it.
The movie did succeed in creating a mysterious vibe and playing up the unreliable narrator component. It failed in pacing. This movie is s l o w. I mean it’s possible that I went back in time and re-watched it again. I thought it was actually an hour longer than it was. I have to really think as to whether I would recommend the film to a fellow human being. If you go to see a Western because you like to watch people mosey, this is the film for you.