The Pope, Stephen Hawking and director Alex "Lex Loser" Garland walk out of a screening of Garland's Annihilation. The Pope asks, "What in the name of Jesus Hitler Christ was that?!" In his robot voice, Stephen Hawking says, "That was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and I have Lou Gehrig's disease for fuck's sake." Alex Garland chuckles and says, "Ah, but here's the thing. All the dumb people will think it's wicked smart."
The fact that Annihilation has an 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes proves that Garland was right, and Barnum was an optimist. Fuck every minute; there's a sucker born every three seconds or so. Most every positive review I've read talks about how "thought-provoking" Annihilation is. The only thoughts it provoked in ol' Cinemavenger went something like, "Are you fucking kidding me?! I've read fortune cookie fortunes more profound than that sci-fi suckfest!"
Maybe it's Natalie "Pint Sized" Portman's fault? Aside from Leon: The Professional and Black Swan, Portman's resume is littered with more shit shows than an all-scheisse-porn website.
In Annihilation, Portman plays a doctor and Army veteran who joins an all-chick recon team made up of The Ice Queen (Jennifer Jason "Long Time Since Fast Times" Leigh), The Passionate Latina (Gina "G-Rod" Rodriguez), The Wary One (Tuva "Votny? No!" Novotny) and The Quiet African American One (Tessa "Hunter S." Thompson).
The quintet enters the Shimmer, an area slowly but continually expanding outward from a lighthouse in southern Florida that was hit by something from outer space. Everything - drones, dogs, dudes - that's gone into the Shimmer up until that point has never returned. Except Nat's character's husband (Oscar "Omnipresent" Isaac) who came out a different man, totally disoriented and on death's door.
Why, under those circumstances, the government thinks these five women are going to be able to reach the lighthouse, figure out what the Shimmer is and find a way to stop it from spreading across the entire face of the Earth is just the first of a fuck ton of mysteries Annihilation never even tries to answer. Add to that list that when Portman finally makes it out of the Shimmer she somehow has Rodriguez's character's tattoo on her forearm. And how are Isaac and Portman able to make it out of the Shimmer at all? And why - Spoiler Alert - is a single phosphorous grenade all it takes to destroy the Shimmer?
Don't believe the hype. Anyone who thinks Annihilation is deep is on the pipe.
March 2, 2018