There are two parts to this post. A review of the content of the movie, and them some words about why it is special.
It was pretty good. You should watch it.
There’s a bit of action, some mild shooting, and a bit of thinking.
Something crashes into earth. Is it carbon based? I don’t know. It’s certainly shiny, that much we do know.
Natalie Portman and some other people head off toward the shiny thing to see what’s up. Jennifer Jason Leigh is in it and I still want to punch her in the face for cheating on Doug in Atypical, but she dies in the end so I feel like we’re even.
Along the way, we learn about something that has — I’m pretty sure — absolutely nothing to do with the plot, in the form of a dream, and we learn that they outsourced special effects to two different places. One of those places was a top-tier firm with state-of-the art equipment and mad skillz and they made the bear-like creature.
The other was a kindergarten and they made the crocodile. Seriously, movie makers, if your CGI scene turns out shit, you need to drop it like it’s hot. It’s jarring to witness a fuck off big crocodile with a terrifying roar lunge out of the water then wobble like a duck with bad physics toward the dear protagonist.
And that’s all you need to know about the content of the movie.
Why it’s important
It’s a sex thing. Here’s the top 10 highest grossing films of 2018 so far, and the sex of the top 10 cast from each.
In the average movie, there’s three and a half women in the top 10. And not a single movie with more than half women. Venom is 50/50 on paper, but have you seen it?
Now it’s fun movie quiz time, we’ll start easy: try and think of a movie that is mostly men.
How did you do? Yeah, gold star for you.
Now let’s level up. Try and think of a movie that was mostly women.
Did you think of a female remake of an all-male movie? Oceans 8? Ghost bustesses? Or a movie where being women was the point of the plot: Bridesmaides, Mean Girls?
I actually can’t for life of me think of a movie that was mostly women, where that wasn’t a key feature of the movie.
I suppose there was Sex in the City. Perhaps what I’m getting at is a movie that wasn’t for women, or more specifically, a movie that I would actually want to watch.
And that’s why Annihilation is special. It’s a good action movie where the lead characters just happen to be female.
And that is rare.
And it is 2018.
And I hope that for Natalie and gang it stands as a shining example: see, you idiots, you can make a good movie for the masses with more than a few token women in it, like I’ve been telling you all along.
It will be interesting to see if this movie is an aberration or the start of something: the first new birth after the demise of Harvey Weinstein.
Perhaps we are entering into an era where kids won’t just hear about equality from teachers and textbooks, but actually see it in popular culture.
Wouldn’t that be something!