Back in August I wrote about The Machine, an excellent low budget British Sci-Fi movie. I have finally managed to catch up with The Anomaly, another entry in the same genre. The reason I started with the comparison is both movies suffer with the same problem. a lack of distribution. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t going to change the world or appear on your all time to ten list, it isn’t Star Wars or Blade Runner but it is a solid entertaining low budget movie.
Set in an undisclosed date in the near future Ryan (Noel Clarke) a former soldier suffering PTSD wakes up in the back of a van with a kidnapped child and a huge gap in his memory. He tries to help the boy but soon discovers there is far more going on than he comprehend. He slowly discover what is going on and what his part in it is. I have chosen not to giving away the plot so can’t say much more.
Directed, co-produced and starring one man film industry Noel Clarke. The main support comes from Ian Somerhalder and Alexis Knapp with a small part for the legendry Brian Cox, also look out for Luke (older brother of Chris and Liam) Hemsworth. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot Clarke’s Doctor Who co-star Freema Agyeman who appears as his wife in a photograph.
As you would expect of a low budget Sci-Fi movie the plot isn’t without holes, but none of them are significant and are soon forgotten as you root for the noble and likeable hero. The action scenes are notable, made on a budget the film employs well choreographed action shot with real visual flare. It was reported at the time of release that Clarke did his own fight scenes without the use of a double, this really helps the action, as does the fighting style. Employing the hard brutality of the real world with just a hint of The Matrix and Equilibrium style fantasy the action is fresh and entertaining. This coupled with a mystery that unfolds slowly but without any real surprises makes for an enjoyable movie.
The film was shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival in June this year and supposedly receded a general release in the UK the following month. Despite living in a major city (40 cinemas within a short drive), I was unable to find a local cinema showing the film. Had the film been a no budget direct to video affair with a one cinema release to raise its profile, I could understand it, but that isn’t the case. Although the actors are not A list, they are certainly recognisable. That is why I cannot understand why distributor Universal didn’t make more of it. To exacerbate this, the film doesn’t appear to have made its way to North America in any format yet. I don’t expect Hunger Games or Hobbit size releases, but I do think a British film deserves just a little time on the big screen over hear, if nothing else it may give it a fighting chance in other markets.
If you get the chance, to pick up a copy or see it on demand, give it a chance.