Annihilation ★★★

Garland saves his most brilliant, thought-provoking material for the 3rd act of Annihilation. Unfortunately it can't save the rest of the film from feeling like an ordinary, sci-fi thriller. The unnecessary framing device underlines how overwritten this film is. It adds absolutely nothing interesting narratively and culminates in a tension-deflating coda.

Our familiar, stock characters deliver fairly generic dialog, including a couple scenes of characters aimlessly monologuing psychological or philosophical nonsense until the plot, thankfully, forcibly stops them. The acting is mostly stilted, including a surprisingly dull performance from Jennifer Jason Leigh.

The final 20 minutes absolutely prove that Garland has something new to bring to the genre, it's just a shame that it takes him 90 minutes to get there.

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