The Anomaly (2014)

Not long ago I reviewed a movie directed by Stargate Atlantis Alumnus David Hewlett.  This time, it’s a film directed by former Doctor Who companion Noel Clarke.  Somehow a lot of actors who’ve done extensive work in the world of SF seem drawn to the genre and end up writing, directing or producing more SF.

Either that or they got typecast.

Clarke plays a former soldier who finds himself waking up with no idea how he got where he is, or why he is trapped in a van with a boy who’s been chained to the wall.  But before he can help the boy escape, he discovers that he kidnapped the boy – and then passes out.

Whatever has happened to him, he wakes up at odd intervals and remains conscious for exactly nine minutes and forty-two seconds.

This is a conceptually challenging notion as somehow, in each new awakening, he has to learn more about what has happened to him and work towards finding some way of freeing himself from the influence of whoever is controlling him.  I’ve always loved high-concept SF films, although I know how hard it can be to make them work – and yet the best ones have always been the ones that at first glance would seem almost impossible to pull off – like The Truman Show or The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The Anomaly never rises to this level because it is, at its heart an action movie, but it carries it all off quite nicely anyway, with the sudden leaps in settings and action ensuring that the story progresses smoothly.  Which is, after all, a bit of a trick.

So, a pretty good action film with a few heady SF tropes mixed in and a nicely-twisted story-telling approach.  It is as fine an accompaniment for a big box of popcorn as one could ask for.

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