‘Annihilation’ is confusing, but action-packed

“Annihilation” features actors Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson and Oscar Isaac in a two-hour sci-fi thriller that will leave a viewer a bit confused. The movie is centered on Portman’s character, a biologist sent into a bubble with three other researchers to see how the environment has taken over part of a regional park, and what it has done to the organisms inside.

   As the movie treks on it bounces back and forth between past and present as Portman’s character tells the story of what happened in the bubble. The incredible fact revealed is that no other researchers who have gone into the area have ever made it out alive, leaving her team to wonder if they will make it out as well.

     Little did they know as they went through the chaotic environment, they would be faced with obstacles they have never seen before, and would test them mentally, physically and emotionally. The only way for the group to survive was to put their differences aside and work together, but the challenges along the way may have been too much for the group of researchers.

     As a viewer going to this movie, be prepared for a lot of jumping between past and present as it is easy to get lost in the shuffle when the story reaches its climax. “Annihilation” is the type of film that if you turn away for a second something major has happened so it’s best to be attentive to what’s going on in the story to fully understand what is happening to the characters.

     Viewers may draw comparisons to “Inception,” “Looper” and “Arrival”, as those are all movies in which the story unfolds throughout the movie, and all have a similar eerie feeling as the movie comes to a climax and as it concludes. “Annihilation” follows the traditional, science fiction story telling formula and offers something mysterious that will have the viewer guessing what’s going to happen next. However, it also adds spice with the thriller/horror component.

     “Annihilation” is well made, and it’s a good change of pace in a movie season when the Oscars are right around the corner. Fans of science fiction and horror genres will enjoy it and just like “Inception” there may be more than meets the eye.