Alex Garland seems to take special inspiration from “ideas” sci-fi films, including the untouchable masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, in his second directed film following Ex Machina. Based on a novel and playing with a supposedly simple story, you will think about this, and debate it, afterwards.
The story has Natalie Portman as Lena, a biology professor + ex-Army soldier, mysteriously reunited with her husband Kane (Oscar Isaac), who’s been missing for some months. She and a team then go looking to find out what happened.
Worth pointing out how Garland seems to use what worked with Ex Machina by adding any number of personal and otherwise motivated twists. So as things ramp up, the team, also consisting of a leader/psychologist, Dr Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), paramedic Anya (Tessa Thompson), geomorphologist Cass (Tuva Novotny), and physicist Josie (Gina Rodreiguz), all go down different, fitting routes, beyond just Portman’s character.
And, Netflix picked up international rights for this after letting Paramount domestically release it for two weeks. You should watch this on the biggest screen possible, because the experience demands your attention, but otherwise sit back and enjoy this intellectual sci-fi flick. Garland should have an interesting filmmaking career.