The Anomaly (2014)

Written by, directed by, produced by, and starring... the same guy. Very little good can come from this kind of thing. I've seen Leonard Nimoy try to tackle too much, and even someone with that much skill struggles at the idea of directing and starring in a movie. Well, the last time I saw this guy, Noel Clarke, he was Rose's love interest on Dr. Who. He did well enough as an actor in that, but there is a lot to deal with when you're doing this much in a movie.

It's a sci-fi thriller where our hero (Clarke) is seemingly jumping in time. He occupies his own body, but he jumps from one time to the next, never knowing what situation he's going to wind up in next. My wife commented that the jarring nature of the jumps is reminiscent of the ones that happen in Twelve Monkeys. I have to agree - they are nearly identical, but they are much more frequent. In each location, he is almost always in a situation with a guy who MUST be a bad guy, played by the bright eyed Ian Somerhalder.

Clarke is supposed to have other-worldly combative skills, so there is a fair bit of action. And look who got a slow-mo cam! Every other hit is done in slow motion. It reminds me of a Jean Claude Van Damme movie with the inability to just let an action scene play out. Is it because they couldn't choreograph a scene well? Well, yes, partially. Stun a guy and then roll over his back for no particular reason before body slamming him into the ground, mysteriously knocking him out? Yeah, we got that. The slow-mo is augmented by speed ups, Steven Seagal style. And when they don't use either of those two, it's time to rely on jump cuts. Fun.

The movie is set an indeterminate amount of time in the future, and they try to get better-than-TV effects, and for the most part they do. I'm not sure why they decided to make some cities futuristic and other not, but the ones that they did are really in the distance, and they are pretty clearly CG. It is decent CG, so they have that going for them.

Ultimately, this movie is a made for TV movie that somehow got a full movie budget. The problem is that they really shouldn't have gotten one. The story is right out of a Syfy movie, and that's really where it belongs - alongside movies like Sharknado or Lake Placid (the later ones). Most of the acting is right about that caliber, even though they managed to get Brian Cox, and everything else really fits into place when you think of it in that context.

Directing was bad
Acting was mediocre
Story was weak
Effects were okay
Dialogue was meh

Bottom Line: Not good, but not truly terrible.



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