Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
A former soldier awakens in the back of an unlit van.
And as he tries to figure out how he got there..
A former soldier awakens on top of the woman he has been having sex with. She frowns as he leaps across the room, searching through his clothes to find out how he got..
A former soldier awakens in a chair. He has precisely 9 minutes 47 seconds to figure out how..
A former soldier awakens in an underground laboratory. Realising he has under 10 minutes before his next time jump, he searches desperately for..
The former soldier realises this isn’t going to be a simple day.
Noel Clarke – Ryan
Alexis Knapp – Dana
Ian Somerhalder – Harkin Langham
Brian Cox – Dr. Langham
Niall Greig Fulton – Leonid
Have you ever seen In Time or The Adjustment Bureau?
The Anomaly is like a mixture of the two. Only with a less stunning cast and no excitement whatsoever. In fact, this movie was almost entirely ‘borrowed’ from other movies which immediately cancelled out any suspense or intrigue – it ran its screen time with absolutely no effect on me. I left the cinema exhaling a (deeper than normal) deep sigh. I try and note the audience reaction in every film I see at the cinema; whether people are gasping, laughing out loud, jumping / screaming in shock, etc. The reactions don’t have to be massive. Just something, a little noise made by one or two audience members.
The Anomaly got nothing.
I think at one point one of the male audience sniggered. But other than that, the only noise in the auditorium was the man to my left – who got up and walked out. The problem here was the sporadic use of what would’ve been a brilliant plot. Director Noel Clarke had a concept in his hands which if molded properly, would have been a fantastic ride. Unfortunately, it melted and slipped through his fingers. The movie was messy and disjointed; jumping from one scenario to another, it pulled me in – but then sent me somewhere else. In the end, I realised this film may as well have been condensed down to a 1 hour film for television. It was nowhere near cinema worthy.
Throughout the movie, fight scenes take place. Ryan encounters various ‘baddies’ during his visits to different lives. And I may have actually enjoyed these scenes, had they not been slowed down. The scuffles take place in slow motion which had me frowning.
I couldn’t fathom why the director needed to use such an element – because the movie flowed as normal and then suddenly broke into slow motion Matrix-style swings, dives, splits and punches. Noel’s attempt at creating Kill Bill 3 didn’t impress me, it baffled me. The style in which the movie suddenly erupted in slo-mo was like a cry of, “look at us guys! We’re fighting in slow motion, you don’t get this in many films – how cool is that?!”
It was cheesy. And almost completely unnecessary.
This was literally the only factor of the movie I enjoyed – the use of special effects / CGI.
Near the beginning of The Anomaly, we see Ryan running along the side of the River Thames in London. Up until this bit I was sat staring at the screen expressionless. But when this popped up, my eyes widened..
I can only describe it as beautiful. Stunning. This movie is set in the near future, and boy does it show. The layout of the river is the same, with Tower Bridge in its usual place – but the metropolis of future London that surrounds it is bloody amazing. All along the river various silver skyscrapers have shot up – one of them quite different to the other with its open bud, plant-like structure. The city looks exactly the same as present day, but wonderfully different at the same time. The imaginative use of special effects are to be applauded. Up in the sky are a few hovering noticeboards; almost the same shape as helicopters these little crafts appear to display signs advertising local pizza joints, etc.
Seriously, this streak of sci-fi was beautiful. Best part of the movie.
“..ahh, it’s HER!” I immediately thought as I looked at Alexis Knapp on screen. “..the frisky one from Pitch Perfect”.
Alexis Knapp stars as a hooker who helps Ryan try to figure out what is happening to him. She seems to be in and out of the movie only acting in certain scenes, but manages to deliver very well. At first she’s a real bitch – a whore laying on a bed who spouts sarcastic comments at Ryan, but slowly and sexily, she becomes more.
It was actually a little surprising to have the likes of Alexis in a film like this with Noel Clarke; a jump from Hollywood to Hackney in which she delivered a foxy, effective character. Most of the cast are actually male so it was nice to have her add some female dynamic.
Certain scenes seemed to be clutching at straws. In the ‘ideas’ department I mean.
For example, a scene where Ryan has to attach an oxygen mask to his face: the mask lights up and radiates a bright blue light.
..why? Why does an oxygen mask need a light? I am fully aware this is set in the future, but – well – they have lights in the future.
Another scene sees a brawl in the middle of the street in what looks like Chinatown. When Ryan falls to the floor, the camera fades out dramatically..
..but quickly pans back to the futuristic scenery and gives the audience a horizontal scanning as if to say, “look at that shit. Isn’t it beautiful?”.
The overall ‘tech satellite’ concept was brilliant, a very good idea for a plot which played with in the correct way, could bring great stuff to the screen.
Unfortunately, this concept was completely shat on by the tedious atmosphere that the movie radiated. Again, The Anomaly should have been condensed into a 45-minute / 1 hour ‘one-off’ for television – because it contained epic ideas.
It just wasn’t epic enough.
In a nutshell, The Anomaly was crap – but it was bursting with potential. Like an essay a student hands in to their teacher which is good but the previous student’s was written much better, this movie was uncooked – it wasn’t ready for the big screen yet.
The idea was all there, but wasn’t followed through properly to the best it could have been. Which was a shame due to one or two elements being quite interesting.
This movie was a bare skeleton with no flesh, surrounded by a mind-boggling plot which I actually gave up caring about in the end.
I didn’t like it, but liked what it could have been.
Sorry Noel, best you stick to acting – directing what you’re actually starring in doesn’t seem to work. Melissa McCarthy just proved that with Tammy.