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It's been a couple years since Alex Garland wowed the world with his directing debut Ex Machina, but he's back again to wow sci-fi fans into a frenzy with Annihilation. Based on the hit novel of the same name written by Jeff VanderMeer, the film stars Natalie Portman as a scientist who is drawn to join an expedition that'll take her on a journey that's so surreal, some thought it'd never translate to the silver screen. And yet, here we are today, preparing to rate and discuss what already feels like it's going to be a bit of a divisive film.
You see, a slow moving narrative like Annihilation might be a bit much for the common moviegoer. Taking a look at the critical evaluation of the film thus far paints a different picture though, as critics overwhelmingly seem to support this mind-bender. You can definitely count us as part of the consensus, as our official review landed along the following lines:
Annihilation is perfect proof that Alex Garland is the real deal as a director and visionary -- not only creating a world that you will fall right into, but one that's so fascinating that you'll want to investigate it over and over.
The true measure of how wide the gap between critic and moviegoer will be in the audience reaction. So naturally, we're going to want you, the viewers, to weigh in on how you felt about Annihilation. With that in mind, please answer the following discussion questions in the comments below:
If you're a fan of the books, how do you feel about the different route that Alex Garland took with the material?
Do you feel the film adaptation of Annihilation can still lead to adaptations of Authority and Acceptance?
Should the rest of the series be adapted, would you want Alex Garland to continue, or would you want to see two different directors tackle the remaining stories?
Were you freaked out at all by Annihilation? If so, what moment freaked you out the most?
How early on did you predict the fact that Kane was a duplicate?
What do you think the purpose of the "new" Kane and Lena is?
Along with your answers to the discussion questions above, it's also a good idea to offer some general thoughts on what you thought about Annihilation altogether. Which means that it's time for you to provide a numerical rating for the film, using the scale of 0 to 5 stars. Don't forget to provide specific details on why you rated the film the way you did, along with any other feedback you have pertaining to the film, in the comments.
Before we let you go, let's talk about some further reading after seeing Annihilation. Obviously, we recommend reading the entire Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, as it basically serves as an alternate version of the story of this fateful expedition. In terms of continued information behind the film version, one interesting story explained how, thanks to both this film and Star Wars: The Last Jedi both being filmed at the same studio, star Oscar Issac was able to film scenes for both films in the same day. In a similar vein, Tessa Thompson had to juggle her work in this film with that of her role as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, which led to some interesting results. And with that, we say goodbye for this week's Rate and Discuss! We'll see you next week, as we evaluate the next film everyone will be talking about at the movies!