Annihilation review - dystopian sci-fi as you've never seen it before
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Directed by Alex Garland, Annihilation (2018) tells the story of Lena (Natalie Portman), a biologist that is trying to move on after her husband dies while serving in the military. When he inexplicably comes back with a mysterious illness, she must venture into The Shimmer, a quarantined zone where the laws of nature do not apply and people keep disappearing, to try and find out what really happened to her husband. This film is quite surprising in many senses. First and foremost, a sci-fi film starring all women has been a long time coming. At no point in this film is a woman relegated to being a sexy love interest, sidekick, or fridged motivation for a man ... which shuoldn't be revolutionary in the genre, but sadly is. This time, the cast is almost all female, and these women volunteer to go forth into danger, armed to the teeth, to try and save the world when the military has failed. Each of these women is brilliant in their own unique ways. Natalie Portman, outstanding as usual, plays Lena, a biologist who ventures into The Shimmer accompanied by psychologist Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), paramedic Anya Thorensen (Gina Rodriguez), physicist Josie Radek (Tessa Thompson), and geologist Cass Sheppard (Tuva Novotny). They are all fully developed characters, each one with her own backstory, and they are all highly skilled and very brave.
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