Review: ‘The Anomaly’ is nonsensical sci-fi
There’s infinitely more than one anomaly to be found in “The Anomaly,” a thoroughly nonsensical futuristic sci-fi thriller that makes a case for the perils of vanity projects.
Directed and partly written by its star, Noel Clarke, the 2014 British import begins with an ex-soldier named Ryan (Clarke) who awakens in the back of a van along with an abducted boy (Art Parkinson) whom he helps to escape before realizing that he in fact is the kidnapper.
Prone to extended blackouts, Ryan turns out to be caught in a mind-controlling conspiracy called the Anomaly, an organization personified by the smartly dressed but evil Harkin Langham (“The Vampire Diaries” star Ian Somerhalder).
With all its virtual reality and parallel universe jibber-jabber (penned by Simon R. Lewis) the film clearly has “The Matrix” on the brain but lacks the skill to qualify as a pale imitation, boasting some of the silliest fight choreography found outside a kiddie playground.
There’s even a ticking time-clock element thrown in for good measure. Like Ryan, it tends to drop out for extended periods.
But even with mere minutes left to uncover the truth behind his affliction, somehow Clarke finds the time to strut around in his designer undies on more than one occasion.
Vanity project indeed.
MPAA rating: None.
Running time: 1 hour, 37 minutes.
Playing: AMC Universal CityWalk 19.
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.