Anon is a crime drama set in the near future in which any and all human interactions are recorded into a network known as the Ether. Clive Owen stars as a tortured detective who is thrown off by a case in which the murderer cannot be immediately identified by the Ether’s records. Unique and convincing in concept, the premise is dragged down by its stale acting, and nonsensical plot.
Unfortunately for Anon, the most memorable things about the film end up being its most glaring problems. Clive Owen’s character felt completely phoned in throughout the movie, perhaps in part to the writing itself. Many characters continuously made decisions that felt very out of place and stretched any suspension of disbelief that I had. It felt like over and over scenes were placed in the movie for no other reason than the screenwriter “felt like it should be in the movie”. The only real twists in the movie aren’t even really twists at all. Instead, the film tells you that your expectations are to be subverted and then I am expected to be surprised when they are? The premise and concept of the futuristic hyper recorded world that’s built is convincing in its own right. Muted in color scheme, and looming cinematography gives a clean, otherworldly version of our own without feeling dystopian and unrealistic. Worth mentioning is that throughout the film we are switched between regular camera angles, and tracking POV shots to depict what someone is viewing via the Ether. While it does become less jarring as the movie goes on, all of them are a camera sliding on a track, which doesn’t showcase in any capacity the natural feeling of a person’s point of view whether they are walking, running etc. Finally Anon attempts to make a sort of social commentary on the rapid disappearance of privacy in the modern era, but it does so only through trivial quotes and platitudes. There aren’t any consequences showcased as to why the lack of privacy is a bad thing so the movie falls flat here as well. This film is competent enough but falls short on so many of what appear to be its core draws that I can’t really recommend it unless you’re bored on a weekend and like the way Amanda Seyfried’s face looks.