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The Anomaly

* * - - -

An inventive, stylish futuristic drama which is too complicated for its own good.

Image of The Anomaly

Showing @ Cineworld, Edinburgh, Thu 19 & Fri 20 Jun

Noel Clarke / UK / 2014 / 97 mins

Noel Clarke’s new futuristic action drama transports us to a time when smartphones and holographic displays are thankfully still in use. We follow Clarke himself as Ryan, an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD. He’s drafted into a bioware research programme, helmed by the sinister Harkin Langham (Ian Somerhalder). The rub: unbeknownst to Ryan, he’s been fitted with electronic devices that knock him out every nine minutes 47 seconds, “changing” him into a biogenetically-controlled robot, embodied by Harkin’s father Francis Langham (Brian Cox).

Ryan soon realises what’s going on and gets caught up in a race to save himself and those around him. After he passes out, he wakes up days later, often in new situations and with a new identity. Clarke ramps up tension and drama with explosive fight sequences, gorgeous locations from Tokyo to New York City, and heart-pumping heists. It feels like today’s The Bourne Identity crossed with Source Code. However, this film is just too complicated for its own good: an inventive, stylish idea with poor execution, full of caricature baddies, a painfully clichéd script and clumsy get-the-girl subplot.

Showing as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival