Ben Oliver

Now
Anon/
film

Anon

I can’t believe my eyes…
17 December 2019

In a world where everything you see is recorded and can be played back in your eyeline, things go awry when a hacker breaks into the system and starts doctoring footage of murders. Detective Clive Owen investigates, following a lead he sees on the street (Amanda Seyfried), but things get tricky as his eyes begin to deceive him.

Another Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, In Time, Good Kill) concept that sucks you right into a well fleshed out world. Everyone has some sort of networked device embedded in them, allowing them to do tricks like play back memories, identify people in the street, among other things. The drawback is that the police also has access to this information, along with any other more nefarious players.

Where Anon gets interesting is when it starts to properly explore the implications of this, perhaps an advanced version of the world we already live in. Everything you see is recorded, and every time someone sees you it goes on the record. Memories are no longer memories but actual video clips.

The screenplay touches on all of this and more, and in that respect it really scratches the itch you get with high concept films like this.

Like many other Niccol films, it falls down hard on the main plotline and in the final act. It goes through the motions to give us a predictable end to a pedestrian story. Cap it off with shoddy, cheesy dialogue and it makes Anon hard to recommend.

Worth a look for the concept alone, but frankly Anon is another waste of a good idea.