by Benjamin Leonard, Best Boy
Hey guys! We aren’t super big on sharing trailers here at Moviejawn. There’s plenty of other sites that do that. But every once in awhile, something so damned rad is coming out that we just can’t not talk about it. Today’s topic: Annihilation.
For me, this is a star-studded feature. First and foremost: Alex Garland. I’ll admit it. I’m a huge Judge Dredd fan. I love what Garland did with the 2012 Dredd movie. He managed to write some huge personalities in a nihilistic hell-scape in a way that they could work in a small story with a small budget. In Ex Machina, he told a great psychological sci-fi tale with only a couple characters and really got to the inner workings of their minds.
The cast is exciting too. You’ve got Oscar Issac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Natalie Portman, and most importantly: Tessa Thompson. Thompson most recently won all of our hearts here at Moviejawn as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, but was also in great films such as Selma, Dear White People, and Creed.
I’m also a big fan of Jeff VanderMeer’s work. He has written some great sci-fi/speculative fiction pieces involving world-changing or world-ending scenarios where we learn more about who we are and who we are allowing ourselves to become in the ever-changing world we live in. VanderMeer manages to paint a picture of our world, transformed just enough to make it recognizable but totally alien all at the same time.
Annihilation is the first book of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy. The book dives deep into the psyche of The Biologist (Portman) as she tries to come to terms with her husband returning as a shell of a man from an expedition into a strange, newly discovered, uninhabited land. Honestly, the trailer looks like the film is trying too hard to explain what is going on in this land. In the books, it’s a super slow burn. The mental state of the characters is what drives the story. I understand that it’s very difficult to make a movie that way. This year’s Borne, also by VanderMeer, may have actually lent itself to a film adaptation better, but I’m still excited to see how this plays out. Check out the trailer here: