Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Oh, how I wanted to like this movie so much. To start with, it has a charming concept, like crossing 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead” with 2014’s “Stage Fright,” not to mention a  sharp subversion of the “Glee” school of obnoxiously pitchy musicals. Additionally, the songs themselves are pretty catchy in a thin, radio-friendly kind of way, in particular “Hollywood Ending,” which plays like a candy-colored pop pastiche as well as a parody of one. However, the movie itself never really comes alive: A number of times, I realized that my mind was wandering, often in the middle of songs or during scenes that should be either suspenseful or cathartic, mostly because there’s a complete lack of dramatic tension. The characters barely register and the actors have a tendency to fade into the background, while there’s almost no character development to speak of – everything just sort of happens and then the movie ends. It’s a case of a movie’s concept driving the vehicle instead of its characters, and as a result it’s wafer-thin fluff that will disappear from public consciousness in no time.

Rating: ★★ (out of 5)

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