Evolution. Much can be said about how evolution has led the human race to be in the superior position that they are. How survival of the fittest applies in a world which seems to be intent on electing the worst of the bunch though makes me question exactly how evolved we truly are. Still, evolution is not just something that scientists use to look back and try to trace our origins but also helps us look to the future of what’s next for the human race and also serves as the inspiration for many a sci-fi and comic book story.
Which is exactly what this new TV spot for Alex Garland’s Annihilation deals with. This sci-fi film based on the Southern Reach trilogy by author Jeff VanderMeer, which sees a group of scientists enter a mysterious phenomenon known as the Shimmer, was one of those films considered to be a must-watch when it was first announced. Part because of the strength of its source material, but also because Alex Garland’s previous film Ex Machina, was one of the smartest sci-fi films in recent years and many people were excited at what he could do with the story.
However anticipation for the product has appeared underwhelming and although the film has yet to release, it was dropped by its studio Paramount for international release where it will instead be shown on Netflix, apparently on the basis that they found it “too intellectual”. It sounds like a pretty silly reason to believe your movie won’t work at the box office especially when it stars the incredible talents of Natalia Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny. However, there have also been reports that the real reason the movie was dropped was not only just because the studio thought it was perhaps too smart for its audiences, but also because they thought it actually isn’t all that good after all. So, does this new TV spot help us give any clues as to which reason is right?
Honestly, based on this brief glimpse of new footage for the movie and the previous trailer for this movie, I must be honest to say that I am inclined to agree with the latter argument. While I still believe that there will be a lot of depth to the story and clever elements which will likely enthral and get people thinking, what is shown here also looks actually quite generic with some middling visual effects not helping give it any further appeal. Based on Netflix’s most recent big sci-fi movies as well like Bright and the surprise release The Cloverfield Paradox, it does also seem like Netflix might not be the best at picking up excellent must-see films either, even if both those films were not bad efforts.
Hopefully, I’m wrong though and the film can break the trend and be a sci-fi film that is finally a must-see for the streaming service. Much like my confidence in evolution though, I’m not going to get my hopes up about this one.
Last Updated: February 7, 2018