Movie Review – The Anomaly (2015)

The Anomaly
Directed by Noel Clarke
Courtesy of Universal Pictures and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release Date: October 6, 2015

the anomaly

Intelligent science fiction never goes out of style, and the genre seems to be experiencing an uptick in entries. Films like CHAPPIE, INTERSTELLAR, and TIME LAPSE immediately spring to mind. These are well-written, smart, and extremely entertaining films. I’m proud to announce THE ANOMALY will now join that list. This film is a mind-bending journey into action and intrigue. It yanked me in from the opening scene and never let go. If you are any kind of fan of slick sci-fi, then this is a film you simply must check out!

If you are not familiar with THE ANOMALY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment:

It is the near future, and ex-soldier and PTSD patient Ryan Reeve (Noel Clarke) has a very disturbing type of blackout amnesia: He regains consciousness days or weeks apart for exactly 9 minutes and 47 seconds, only to discover that he is now a lethal operative for a mysterious organization. But as he tries to piece together his past with each reboot, he realizes that the organization now wants him dead. Can Reeve stay two steps ahead of a sinister colleague (Ian Somerhalder) he does not recognize long enough to destroy a global conspiracy he can’t escape? Alexis Knapp, Luke Hemsworth and Brian Cox co-star in this action thriller.

I am stunned to see IMDB reviewers giving this movie such a low score (4.8 out of 10 stars from 4,788 users, as of the time of this review). This makes me wonder if these viewers did not understand the movie or grasp its concept. Granted, it’s not something you pick up immediately…but the film reveals just enough to keep the audience interested until all is revealed about three-fourths of the way in.

THE ANOMALY is shot very well and looks great onscreen. I have to commend the cinematographer for the unique and inventive views the audience is given during the film. This is a testament to the talent involved with this production. For example, during one of Ryan’s fight scenes, the camera slowly moves up a wall and drops down behind it, giving us the view of the fight as seen through a bullet-proof glass window. The sound becomes muffled, but the intensity of the fight never stops. Then, after a moment, the camera moves back into original position, and the original sound returns. This is slick and original, and it makes the scene so much more fun to watch.

The acting in THE ANOMALY is top notch, with director Noel Clarke as the lead character, Ryan. I’ve enjoyed Clarke’s work for several years now, watching him in a variety of genres and titles, from DOCTOR WHO to DOGHOUSE to STORAGE 24, and now this. I never tire of watching him, and I’m excited to discover he has skill behind the camera as well as in front of it.

The storyline is the biggest winner here, though. Rife with intrigue and mystery, this thriller quickly burrows into your brain and captivates you through to the end. Just when I thought I had things figured out, the movie shifted gears and threw a new curveball at me. Finally, when the ‘big reveal’ is given, the brilliance of the writing shines through and everything comes together.

My sole complaint about this film (and it’s a very minor one) is the mediocre fight choreography. I suppose the fight scenes are ok as a whole, but the constant slow-motion interruptions (for example, a guy throws a punch and the camera slows down to super slow-motion to capture it…then speeds back up as his fist makes contact) become old real fast. I’m not sure why these were included, but they make the fighting look fake.

But that point aside, THE ANOMALY is a hell of a science fiction thriller, and I highly recommend it. Boasting a star-studded cast and a clever concept, this is one film you’ll want to experience several times to get its full effect. This is available now in a variety of formats, but make sure you give it a look on Blu-ray; you’ll truly appreciate the HD picture and sound.

MSB

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