Hey! anon anon anon. Netflix’s new original movie starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, Anon, tells Batman V. Superman to move over as we have a great versus movie as we finally get to see who would win between the Watch Dogs hacking system and Google Chrome’s incognito mode. Anon comes to us from director/writer Andrew Niccol who at the very least you must admit has been one of the finest when it comes to the world building in his films (writer for Gattaca, In Time, and The Truman Show). In the world of Anon, everyone exists within a system bank of information that makes privacy nonexistent as memories can be accessed by anyone. With anonymity erased, what happens when detective Frieland finds someone who has gone completely off the grid.
Anon is fine, I consider a Netflix original to be of the quality of a TV movie and I think it’s a solid TV movie that plays to your expectations. You’ll notice the aspect ratio fluctuating which at first can be a little distracting. It does serve its purpose, the wide screen ratio is the world view, full screen ratio displays P.O.V. and they do that thing you’ll see on YouTube ever so often when you create a border of a gaussian blurred background of the playing footage to show like a memory video. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the 2.39: 1 aspect ratio, I understand its original appeal with trying to emphasis a big screen of Cinemascope to compete with tiny television and having them thrive with Western films with rich landscapes. When it’s being used for a Netflix movie that many people are going to watch on their laptops and phones it just comes across as trying to seem different or that the cinematographer wanted to try working with a new lens. To wrap up discussing the visuals of the movie the film overall looks impressive for its scope. The effects are very involved in this movie, I think this movie could easily look dumb if the effects were done worse, my only criticism is they seem to lack much personability, with the screen glitches, and computer network all seeming like generic versions of how we’ve seen these before. It literally looks like Watch Dogs the movie.
With such an interesting world and a character having such a unique ability it’s a little upsetting that it never seems to want to explore these concepts further than their role in the plot. I’m not going to offer a de-facto screenplay, but it seemed like it would be more enjoyable if the story was revolved more around what can we do within this universe rather than how can this universe operate in this sort of uninteresting, generic plot. It could have functioned to a more intriguing experience if it would have chosen to be more of an action flick, instead of what it is as this ethical crime drama. To compare it to Niccol’s other works I don’t think it’s as allegorically thoughtful as The Truman Show, or as action oriented as In Time but instead is more of just a dull episode of Black Mirror.
I see this being a complaint left on quite a few Netflix comments on other movies in that there’s a lot of sex scenes and I’m no puritan but there’s a lot of don’t know if I’d rather say unnecessary or gratuitous sex scenes. If you have an opposition or an appeal to that take that news as you’d like. I think this is part of the compound problem that I don’t think people consider to be possible, but I think this movie shows rather than tells too much. While the opposite is a typical complaint against filmmakers not relying on the visual ability of film, I’d say that there is not a single bit of information in dialogue that isn’t shown to the audience. It actual goes both ways in that it kind of treats its audience as a bunch of idiots in that if we show something then we must verbally address it and if we discuss something than we must explicitly show it. No real subtlety at all, what they have in total isn’t bad (not a huge fan of the paint by numbers elements: sad backstory, misunderstood person,assemble a team and explain plan) but the presentation of it just makes everything really shallow.
Overall, I’ve come across probably more negative than positive but to that I’ll finish by saying that the performances are good while no one exactly stands out, while the outcome is sort of predictable there’s still a degree of keeping you guessing, and the idea and execution is neat. I’d say watch a trailer and if you think like a Watch Dogs movie sounds like an idea you’d really get behind the movie does some cool things with it, but if you’re on the fence I’d say that this isn’t going to exceed your expectation but maybe watch it if you’re really bored. It restores a little faith in the Netflix Originals in that I’d probably rate it close to Shimmer Lake and Sahara as decent movies instead of The Open House and The Cloverfield Paradox which I don’t count as movies but the film equivalent of Chinese knockoffs of American products, Adidas with 4 stripes pretty much. What did you think, have you seen Anon, and did you like it? That’s all I have to say about that, and as always I’ll see you at the movies.