Annihilation: Alex Garland presents an uncompromisingly heady and trippy sci-fi; while it is refreshing to watch a film with some ideas to present, it’s also frustrating because what those ideas are is somewhat murky. The film also suffers from a cold, not wholly engaging protagonist. By the other hand, the film has very beautiful, terrifying and inspired visuals. In that sense, the world-building, backed by the story, is the film’s strongest suit: the transformation of the creatures and the environment are both crazy and breathtaking. Kudos to cinematographer Rob Hardy, production designer Mark Digby and the visual effects team. The performances at the center, by Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Oscar Isaac, lean (justified by the story) to the apathetic; Tuva Novotny, Gina Rodriguez and Tessa Thompson, however, are given a freer rein, and are all very effective. The musical score is very interesting and distinctive, with its moments of weirdness.