Star Rating:

The Anomaly

Actors: Noel Clarke, Ian Somerhalder

Release Date: Saturday 30th November 2013

Genre(s): Sci-Fi

Running time: 97 minutes

“So bad its good” is a descriptor that gets thrown around far too much lately, with some movies seemingly aiming specifically for that title, and most falling short (we’re looking at you, Sharknado!). There is an odd sense of alchemy in the air for a movie that aims so high and falls so short that it smacks off the ground so hard that it bounces right back up again. We know deep down just how bad these movies actually are, but we can’t help but enjoy ourselves, almost in spite of the dreck we’ve been presented. And so we have The Anomaly.

Noel Clarke wakes up in the back of a van with no memory of where he is and why he’s there, lying next to a young boy who is tied up and crying for his recently murdered mum. With very little effort they escape the van, Clarke beats up his captors, but this suffers a sudden migraine, and wakes up ten days later, lying on the floor of an office, in a suit, with a beard…

Turns out that Clarke is the test subject for a nano-technological virus thingie that allows other people to enter his brain and take over his body, but because of solar flares, the satellite that runs the technology keeps malfunctioning, which is why Clarke is able to take over his own body now and again. For 9 minutes and 47 seconds exactly, for some reason.

Knowing that this Total Recall-meets-Bourne Identity plot wasn’t enough to fill out a half-hour episode of The Outer Limits, writer/producer/director/star Clarke fills the running time with seemingly endless fight scenes that use the fast-slooooow-fast technique from 300 to hide the fact that nobody on screen really knows how to fight. The movie is set in 2033, and we’re shown this by every skyscraper in London looking like The Gherkin Building, and every prop has flashy lights on it. Because it’s the future!

The dialogue is a unique kind of awful – we’re talking Showgirls awful – and entire scenes involve people wandering around, with no sense of purpose, just looking to be put out of their misery. At points The Anomaly is genuinely one of the funniest movies of the year. But as a sci-fi mystery thriller, we’re 99% certain that wasn’t the intention.