Annihilation Review: A Stunning & Inventive Sci-Fi

“You need to know what’s inside, so do I”-Natalie Portman “Annihilation”

“You need to know what’s inside, so do I”-Natalie Portman “Annihilation”

Chris Beauchamp, Entertainment Editor

There are few directors out there today that know how to create a true sci-fi film. One of which is Alex Garland. He made his directorial debut back in 2015, delivering the sci-fi film known as “Ex Machina.” Now he returns to the big screen once again delivering another film in the sci-fi genre: “Annihilation.” The film stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Benedict Wong. So, how is the director’s next work? Is it better than his first? Let’s talk about it.

Without spoiling much, and believe me there is a lot to spoil, “Annihilation” centers around a biologist named Lena, whose husband has return from a military mission severely injured and beaten. With a crew of scientists by her side, she adventures into Area X, otherwise known as The Shimmer, to find out what is inside and why nothing ever comes out.

In terms of what I liked, the environment is absolutely beautiful to look at, especially when we enter Area X. There are many vibrant colors and there is amazing scenery which makes the environment more noticeable and pop in its presentation. The other thing that I liked was the type of storytelling the film chose to do. With sci-fi films, they always use a similar formula to tell their stories and it makes most of them feel similar as a result. However, with this film, they introduce a story that is both inventive and unique, making it stand out more from other modern day sci-fi films. It makes you think and question the story, which I absolutely love.

In terms of what I didn’t like, the beginning of the film is a little fast-paced and didn’t feel as strongly connected to the rest of the film. Also, some of the performances in the film were not as strong as I wanted them to be. Natalie Portman and Gina Rodriguez are the standouts in the film, but everyone else was mostly just there. It’s not to say their characters don’t play significance to the story, it’s that their performances made them less interesting as a result.

Besides those two minor flaws, I absolutely loved this movie. I personally think that “Ex Machina” is still the director’s best work, but this film is as strong as his first in my opinion. It is thrilling, stunning, inventive and a true modern day sci-fi film. I can see some people not liking this film, and I can totally understand. If you are a fan of sci-fi, then you are going to love this film. Once you’re done watching “Black Panther,” go watch “Annihilation” while it’s still in theaters, don’t wait until it comes out on Netflix.

“Annihilation” Overall Score: 9.3/10=93%

Letter Grade: A