Is self-destruction a biological impulse, or a psychological one? Does it depend on the person or the circumstances? How far would you go to find out whether that impulse lives in you?
To Inspire questions like that is one hallmark of great science fiction, and Alex Garland’s Annihilation, a loose adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 book of the same name, definitely has that going for it. But unlike Garland’s directorial debut, the celebrated Ex Machina, Annihilation is a little rough around its shimmering edges.
The movie, like the book, follows a biologist (Natalie Portman) who embarks with several other scientists on an expedi…