Author Topic: Annihilation  (Read 1894 times)

oldkid

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2018, 11:18:56 PM »
I really enjoyed the beauty of the movie and the theme of self destruction.  Like valmz, I didn't see the issues brought up earlier to be problems, since after their initial lost days, the mission was secondary to their mental processes, bent on destruction in their own unique way.  Like most of us do in times of deep stress, we do what our compulsions tell us to do and make up reasons on the fly that don't have to make sense.  This is an Apocalypse Now mission, from that point on, delving further into madness. 

The ending didn't do much for me. It is both vague and ominous.  Perhaps with more thought it might make sense.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2018, 03:43:13 AM »
The issue with both your reasonings is that the main plotholes come in ex ante their penetrating the Shimmer. To me, the idea of an exploration team devoid of any military personnel and the ludicrous tactical thinking of sending team after team to explore a hostile area non-progressively, are much more egregious mistakes than whatever the characters do once inside.
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Solid Blake

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 07:44:25 AM »
The issue with both your reasonings is that the main plotholes come in ex ante their penetrating the Shimmer. To me, the idea of an exploration team devoid of any military personnel and the ludicrous tactical thinking of sending team after team to explore a hostile area non-progressively, are much more egregious mistakes than whatever the characters do once inside.

Portman’s character was ex-military. And the whole trip was basically a suicide mission for Dr. Ventress (again, cancer). She also picked the team herself, and considering her macabres fascination with self-destruction, it’s no wonder she picked a grieving mother of a recently deceased daughter, a recovering drug addict, a cutting introvert, and a unfaithful wife coming to terms with her husband’s misfortune. The mission was never meant to succeed, it was an existential crisis team formed by a decaying (again both physical and mental) leader. It might not make pragmatic sense, but it certainly falls in line with Ventress’ motivations.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 07:46:29 AM by Solid Blake »

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2018, 08:27:45 AM »
Portman was an accidental addition. She was not part of the planning and cannot be therefore used to justify Ventress' logic. And if the pick of the team makes sense by that standard, there is no reason why the psychologist should be the one making all the decisions for an operation conducted under military supervision. Arrival made all the sense when it put generals in charge of the site, there is no way this would fly in reality.
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Solid Blake

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2018, 10:39:38 AM »
Portman was an accidental addition. She was not part of the planning and cannot be therefore used to justify Ventress' logic. And if the pick of the team makes sense by that standard, there is no reason why the psychologist should be the one making all the decisions for an operation conducted under military supervision. Arrival made all the sense when it put generals in charge of the site, there is no way this would fly in reality.

So you’re saying poor management/decision making isn’t conceivable?

I’m not an apologist for this film, it has plenty of flaws. But the same criticism for “poor decision making” in films like this and say, for example, Prometheus... are overlooking the genre these films play in (horror). The protagonist will always run upstairs, versus running out the door. Basic logic doesn’t always apply in these films, for better or worse.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 12:45:26 PM »
Yes, it does. One thing is characters making bad choices that are true to their personalities. Another one is imagining the American government and the military operating in ways that go against everything ever and defy all logic. This goes beyond « the Surge didn't work » bad decision making. This is trying to invade Iraq with the power of hopes and dreams.
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Solid Blake

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2018, 01:47:08 PM »
To each their own, considering our current leadership and day-to-day headlines—this wasn’t as hard to believe for me.

oldkid

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2018, 03:07:09 PM »
And the situation was desperate.  It was growing and something had to be done.  At this point personnel was expendable, and if someone who headed up the operation decided to go herself with a team she hand-picked, who would stop her?  One way or the other, we are not given that reasoning.  I don't have any problem creating a realistic way for them to enter.  And, frankly, the gambit succeeded.  They ended up with someone coming out able to report about what was seen, which was the whole plan.

I get that it is easy to blow holes in the plot.  But for me, it is never how contrived the plot was, but how well a movie makes me forget the contrivance.  And this film succeeded in doing that, mostly, for me.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

valmz

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2018, 08:51:49 PM »
The issue with both your reasonings is that the main plotholes come in ex ante their penetrating the Shimmer. To me, the idea of an exploration team devoid of any military personnel and the ludicrous tactical thinking of sending team after team to explore a hostile area non-progressively, are much more egregious mistakes than whatever the characters do once inside.
They sent many military teams, with no luck. Sending more is beating a dead horse.
Each team that enters loses several days' worth of memory despite covering distance. By the point they are coherent again, they have begun to be affected by the shimmer. In a world where "all logistical and tactical planning is exactly as you, yourself, personally, would have done it", the film is still entirely coherent: We can imagine that they have attempted progressive investigation but all progressive attempts fail every time without fail due to the effects of the shimmer. There is no reason given in the film to think that any person or device can enter the shimmer and comply with tactics or programming to leave, and plenty of reason to think that this is not possible. Even if no reason were given, you can "resolve" this conflict one of two ways: Assume that your tactics are not the tactics they think best, or assume that something not shown contradicts the tactic you prefer. In the film, the latter is irrelevant because reason is shown, and the former may also be relevant.
Finally, one could say that this is fiction, and every variance from "realism" is a meaningful distortion of an imaginary world which only enhances the unreality and/or the metaphorical weight of those differences. This is the best part of art, not the worst.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 08:54:45 PM by valmz »

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Annihilation
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2018, 05:43:22 AM »
Nothing in the movie suggests there would be any reason not to expect a two to six hour exploratory mission to succeed. There would be a threshold at some point where your argument would stand, but some headway would have to be possible.
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