The title of this film reflects the tragic decision most viewers would take if forced to watch this film a second time.
Director Alex Garland’s Annihilation is as profoundly dull as his previous film Ex Machina was inventive. The only thing they have in common is that Oscar Isaac is in both, though Annihilation drains this gifted actor of his talent.
The film centers on a fog-like, colorful mist spreading down a coastline in the States. The cause is unknown and anyone who enters it fails to return. Mr. Isaac is an exception, and returns to Lena (Natalie Portman), his wife, only to be quickly hospitalized with no memory of his past experience.
Thereafter, Ms. Portman joins a team of five women who enter this unknown cloud in search of answers. Let me just say that the movie devolves into one foolish incident after another, and I predict that most of you will be left shaking your head long before the film ends.
Ms. Portman is accompanied by associates played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriquez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny. While all of them are accomplished actresses, one after another is killed by nasty creatures ranging from large crocodiles to extraordinarily large bears. At that point the film resembled aliens taking over Disney World where Goofy, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck became cannibalistic marauders.
In any event, if you want to see these fine actresses in a decent film, then go see Ms. Portman in Jackie, Ms. Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight and Ms. Thompson in last year’s Thor: Ragnarok. And if you doubt my review, check and see if these actresses list this film at the top of their resume.