20 June 2014 | Red-Barracuda
Great little sci-fi flick, full of action and ideas
Set in the future, a traumatized ex-soldier discovers that he can only experience life as himself in nine minute bursts every few days or so. Consequently, he has no idea what he has been up to in between times but it appears in his other life he's clearly been up to no good. He tries to piece together what is causing this.
The Anomaly is a really good example of what can be achieved in a science fiction movie on a low budget. Actor/director Noel Clarke and writer Simon Lewis have put together a nicely ambitious genre flick that is structured in a really interesting way. Its technique is not dis-similar to the one used in Memento (2000) where we follow a protagonist who is consistently unsure of how he got where he is. It's a great idea and ensures that the story-line remains intriguing throughout. It also allows for the film to change gears suddenly and for us to be thrown into jarringly different scenarios as well as re-locating locations. The special effects are well used for the latter, where there are nice cityscapes of the likes of London and New York – very well rendered on a tight budget.
Clarke himself makes for a good central character. It's quite a physical role that calls also for a fair amount of action set-pieces, so we have lots of slow-motion fight scenes interspersed amongst the more cerebral sci-fi stuff. Ian Somerhalder makes a mark too as a dapper, enigmatic man who seems to be involved with Clarke in his unknown other life, while the rather gorgeous Alexis Knapp makes an impression as a girl who assists Clarke in finding out the truth. Brian Cox also stars but is restricted to a cameo role unfortunately. Overall, I was very impressed with this flick. While it does go down a sci-fi action route to an extent, and that's okay, it was the more mysterious sci-fi puzzle aspects that really made it tick. It's well worth seeking out and it should be supported simply on the basis that it shows a lot of ambition and good ideas, while never forgetting to remain entertaining.