Review: "Annihilation" Alliteration

  • MUBI
The Doomed Mission is a substantial trope in sci-fi action-adventures like Annihilation, but it's one that director Alex Garland and Co. (and maybe Jeff Vandermeer, but I haven't read his book upon which the film is based) approach in a notably holistic manner. “Why did my husband go on a suicide mission?” asks Lena (Natalie Portman), a military biologist, of Ventress (Jennifer Jason-Leigh), the hardened psychologist. Ventress's response, an intuitive gloss of Beyond the Pleasure Principle, suggests that the instinct for self-destruction pops up in mundane ordinary habits: through over-drinking, over- working, or abandoning what and who you love. Then, the psychologist throws the question back at the cancer-cell biologist. Why does life produce the conditions of its own demise? Who said that self- destruction is a purely psychological phenomenon? What makes Annihilation exhilarating as sci-fi is that, like 2016's Arrival, it's not about scientific knowledge as a unified system,
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