In 2009 Noel Clark won the Orange Rising Star Award at the Baftas, that recognises new acting talent in the industry (previous winners include James McAvoy, Eva Green and Tom Hardy). As well an actor he is also a writer and director, duties he pulls on his latest movie The Anomaly. But can Clark’s ambition produce a great movie?
Set in the near future Ryan (Noel Clark) wakes up in the back of a van with a young boy who has been kidnapped. As he tries to escape with the boy he finds himself blacking out after 10 minutes. When he wakes up again he is somewhere else. From there on he has to figure out what is happening to him as his mind switches on and off in ten minute intervals.
I admire Clark’s ambition. I like the fact he doesn’t restrict himself to one genre and tries to dip his toes into as many diverse projects as possible. His previous two films as a director was Adulthood, a gritty British drama, and 4,3,2,1 (co-directed by Mark Davis) was a female centred heist movie, while as a writer he made Fast Girls, a drama about girls competing for the world championship . After starring in Dr Who nearly 10 years as sidekick Mickey, The Anomaly sees Clark delve into sci-fi territory again with mixed results. Its starts off strong with Ryan waking up in the van and throws the audience straight into the action as he (and us) try to figure out what is going on.But as the film continues the story becomes less interesting and more pedestrian.
There are also several irritating moments in the movie. The action scenes are shown in slow-mo which is annoying from the first fight and does not improve as the movie goes on. The villains continuously make stupid mistakes which stretch credibility considering they are meant to be the masterminds of a massive conspiracy.
I hate to say it but I think Clark has miscast himself in the main role. Maybe he should have focused more on the script and directing rather than spread himself thinly across all three areas. He’s capable of much better on all levels so hopefully this is just a one off. Ian Somerhalder is fun as an otherwise one note bad guy. There’s mild interest in seeing the older Hemsworth brother Luke (brother of course to Chris and Liam) but he’s not left with much to do. It’s also unfortunate that the only notable female role Dana (Alexis Knapp) is also a pretty worthless one as a prostitute/damsel in distress for Ryan to save. Yawn!
There are interesting ideas and I like the fact that Clark is trying to do something different rather than another Kidulthood/Adulthood rip off.Hopefully this is just a sidestep in an an otherwise varied and interesting career
Rating 2.5/5 – triple threat Clark may have spread himself too thin but its an interesting misfire