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GRADE:  C+

Annihilation

I like mysteries.  You jump into a situation, and you must put the pieces together along with the characters in order to figure out what is happening.  You must also scrutinize along with the main protagonist who among the other characters can be trusted and who will turn out to be the villain(s).  I like that.  "Annihilation" starts off with a mystery similar to the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" in that you have this "alien" circumstances that is creating havoc.  Though, unlike "2001", the alien presence in "Annihilation" does what the title says it does - annihilates.  I don't want to write more than that because, like I said, one of the charms of "Annihilation" is the mystery of what the heck is happening!  But you can get a lot of that just by looking at the blurb and trailer on imdb.com

Without spoiling too much, here are a few things I like about this movie.  The movie starts off with the main character mourning the loss of her husband.  As a husband myself, I could relate quickly to the character and the pain she was going through, and this made the journey with her even more intense.  When she risks her safety and sanity to find out what happened to her husband, I could imagine myself doing the same.  She goes on a "suicide mission" along with four other people who have something to gain from potentially losing everything, and I would do that for my wife.

Also, the movie introduces a phenomenon that somehow changes the genetic make-up of  everything under the "shimmer".  Strange creatures morph out of what usually creeps in the marshes of Mississippi (I think that is where it is set).  This creates an interesting kaleidoscope of colors and fantastic beasts that are both familiar and strangely new.  I can imagine the script writers sitting down and discussing what qualities to give each beast and how it would enhance the scene.  Bravo on creating some interesting beasts!

The movie, as well, kept me in suspense throughout the entire time.  I watched it on my commute, so I had to watch it in maybe two or three "sittings" (or "standings" to be more precise).  So, the movie didn't drag that much anywhere in its two hour length.

Yet, and this is where it loses a lot of points, it just didn't convince me of the world it was trying to create.  By the end of the movie, I was thinking, "Okay, so...umm...what just happened?"  It tried so hard to create this world where the genetics of the creatures were being annihilated, but it never answered the many questions of why, who, what, where, when...those basic questions that need to be answered in a movie!  I can't spoil a lot about this movie because I still don't know a lot about this movie.  And we, movie watchers, start a movie expecting to have a lot of those questions resolved by the end.  At least, I do.  Don't watch this movie thinking that it will give you more than an interesting ride.  Don't watch this movie thinking it will explain the world it has created.  It won't.

So, the movie gained my interest but left me thinking, "why the heck did I just waste two hours on this?"  If someone had spoiled the movie for me, it would have saved me a bit of time.  Maybe I should do that here as a favor to those reading this?

PS:  I gave it a C+ because it was a great movie...until the end.

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