Annihilation ★★★½

A science-fiction thriller with no shortage of bizarre moments and a pretty interesting story, Annihilation is bound to provoke discussion amongst film fans for years to come.

The details of this otherworldly realm dubbed "The Shimmer" are shrouded in mystery for the first act to great effect. The visual effects work left few complaints, as the fantastical and sometimes horrifying creatures inside are meticulously rendered.

Natalie Portman plays the protagonist and does a good job as usual. The supporting cast contains Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and other familiar faces. But other than Portman, none of the other soldiers are given much to do.

The action scenes are all very intense and well handled. A scene midway through with a deformed bear is honestly terrifying and griping, and easily one of the best scenes of the year.

Editing paces the movie at a respectable rate, but some transitional edits are very off putting and amateurish. The script also has a number of logical questions and plot holes that are too significant to ignore.

And I left the theater with mixed feelings on the finale. It was certainly very atmospheric and thought provoking, but dragged on a bit long. Plus the very last scene leaves more to be desired.

Though Annihilation is a flawed production, it is very well made and features a number of memorable scenes and ideas that left me entertained. An engaging and intriguing watch, if not an entirely satisfying one.

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