This post contains spoilers for the movie Anon, and discusses the ending of the movie in detail.
"My life would be much easier if I had someone wearing a cape," jokes Andrew Niccol, the writer of the reality-questioning classic The Truman Show and director of mind-bending sci-fi thrillers like Gattaca and In Time. As original genre movies that aren't based on pre-existing comics or bestselling novels become more difficult for filmmakers to get off the ground, the 53-year-old New Zealander has found ways to keep telling the stories that matter to him. Capes be damned.
His latest project, Anon, a noir-like cyber-mystery starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried, is currently streaming on Netflix and again finds Niccol examining a hot-button issue through a speculative lens. In the way his previous films tackled artificial intelligence (2002's Simone), arms dealing (2005's Lord of War), and drone warfare (2014's Good Kill), Anon dives into the high-stakes intersection between the emerging police surveillance state and personal privacy. In a dystopian future where augmented-reality implants turn your eyes into a pair of constantly recording cameras, hard-drinking detective Sal Frieland (Owen) is tasked with investigating a series of brutal murders committed by a gifted hacker. Where most of Sal's cases are closed by simply reviewing (and occasionally doctoring) the memory tapes of a victim, this killer will replace your vision with what they're seeing, rendering the crime unsolvable. The murderer can't be seen -- or tracked.