The Anomaly (2014)

Action, Sci-Fi
Noel Clarke, Ian Somerhalder, Brian Cox, Alexis Knapp
A former soldier is taken captive and awakens in the back of a van where he learns that he only has a few moments to figure out how he got there.
  • 04 Jul 2014 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Simon Lewis Writer:
  • Noel Clarke Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:


The central idea of Anomaly is a familiar one to recent science fiction fans, as well as fans of the Jason Bourne series. That wouldn't particularly matter if The Anomaly had its own sense of identity or style. It does not.

The idea for films like this is to create a sense of mystery. Initially the film succeeds in doing this, but after some poor dialogue and clumsy info-dumps I suspect that most viewers will stop caring what the film is about. There is no sense of tension and, ironically, the ticking clock that the narrative needs is missing.

some of the performances are below par and The Anomaly feels like a vanity project for Noel Clarke, who casts himself as the hero and directs.
Sat down, 20 minutes later stood up, and left5/10
With two hours to kill until meeting a friend, I decided to catch this film. Granted I didn't read any reviews nor did I know what the movie was about. But hey it was starting in 5 minutes and Ian Somerhalder was on the advert so I assumed he was the lead....I was wrong....

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

10 minutes into the film I realised it wasn't a comical parody of a sci-fi movie. Nope...this was actually a serious film. Assuming this was a low budget film, I can completely accept the low- budget special effects. I really can. Harder to forgive however is the acting, nonsensical plot (assuming there was one) total lack of direction and the use of every stereotype in the book (kind but troubled prostitute, Russian gangsters, cute kid with messy hair, etc). And this was only the first 20 minutes!

But the acting...oh the acting. The half of the audience that hadn't left were trying to contain their laughter. The hero of the film genuinely looked confused and I assumed it was because likely he had no idea what was going on during the shoot. Until I got home, looked up the credits and realised he directed the thing!

Rarely is a film so bad that I have to walk out. In fact I think it has only happened twice in my almost 40 years. However, 20 minutes into it I vividly recall telling myself - life is just too short, before leaving. Sadly this was just as Ian Somerhalder made a proper appearance but by then I had given up. I can only hope he managed to salvage something of the film - but my hunch tells me otherwise.
Clarkes Ego Spoils Good Idea3/10
This is my first review so I'll make this quick.

I had to review because I was so disappointed

Ideas 8. Interesting new take on Future Tech Decent Sci-Fi plot. However, although the story jumped around a bit, what was the Plane all about? Fight Scenes 2 (shocking) Was that supposed to be Martial Arts? It was somewhere between Crap Eastern moves and slightly advanced street fighting. Arrogance 9. Smug acting from the protagonists Nemesis. Overall Acting 4 (woeful) Some real bad acting from the supporting cast. Ego 10. Clarkes Baby, probably. I'm surprised he didn't sing the theme tune

Could Do Better.
Great little sci-fi flick, full of action and ideas7/10
Set in the future, a traumatized ex-soldier discovers that he can only experience life as himself in nine minute bursts every few days or so. Consequently, he has no idea what he has been up to in between times but it appears in his other life he's clearly been up to no good. He tries to piece together what is causing this.

The Anomaly is a really good example of what can be achieved in a science fiction movie on a low budget. Actor/director Noel Clarke and writer Simon Lewis have put together a nicely ambitious genre flick that is structured in a really interesting way. Its technique is not dis-similar to the one used in Memento (2000) where we follow a protagonist who is consistently unsure of how he got where he is. It's a great idea and ensures that the story-line remains intriguing throughout. It also allows for the film to change gears suddenly and for us to be thrown into jarringly different scenarios as well as re-locating locations. The special effects are well used for the latter, where there are nice cityscapes of the likes of London and New York – very well rendered on a tight budget.

Clarke himself makes for a good central character. It's quite a physical role that calls also for a fair amount of action set-pieces, so we have lots of slow-motion fight scenes interspersed amongst the more cerebral sci-fi stuff. Ian Somerhalder makes a mark too as a dapper, enigmatic man who seems to be involved with Clarke in his unknown other life, while the rather gorgeous Alexis Knapp makes an impression as a girl who assists Clarke in finding out the truth. Brian Cox also stars but is restricted to a cameo role unfortunately. Overall, I was very impressed with this flick. While it does go down a sci-fi action route to an extent, and that's okay, it was the more mysterious sci-fi puzzle aspects that really made it tick. It's well worth seeking out and it should be supported simply on the basis that it shows a lot of ambition and good ideas, while never forgetting to remain entertaining.
Entertaining action B-movie could have been very clever sci-fi5/10
I like Noel Clarke. His name alone catches my attention to a film, so I watched this one. Without a clue, which is why I could fully appreciate the mystery of the introduction. Clues about the main character's condition come by very slowly, while the story focuses on an ongoing conspiracy, and on fight scenes that do diminish the overall quality and Mr Clarke's credibility as an action hero.

I admit that, at some stage, I am ready to give up. Finally, if clumsily, come some revelations that not only reinvigorate the plot, but bring in an entire new spectrum of possibilities. Only a few will be exploited. The Anomaly will stay way underneath its potential, barely emerging from the colourful Tits & Kicks category it decided to nest into.

As a director, Noel Clarke does have something. Not sure what. As an actor, he is better when directed by someone else. I find obvious that he should stop directing himself. At least not in a main role, like he did in

The Anomaly should have been more character driven and more psychological, with the costly fluff as a bonus instead of being the meat.