On this Monday morning with have yet another teenage time travel flick, Project Almanac.
DIRECTOR: Dean Israelite
STARRING: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black D’Elia, Sam Lerner, Allen Evangelista, Virginia Gardner, Amy Landecker
GENRE: Found footage, Thriller, Science Fiction
COUNTRY: United States
As a group of friends discover plans for a time machine, they build it and use it to fix their problems and personal gain. But as the future falls apart with disasters, and each of them disappear little by little, they must travel back to the past to make sure they never invent the machine or face the destruction of humanity.
So, I was really excited to see Project Almanac, I even actually watched it in the theatre. As these teens irresponsibly mess up the space-time continuum ever more seriously—leading to injury and heartbreak and even death—some realize that time travel is a lot more complex than they thought it was. They try to correct their mistakes and save people by doing more time-hopping, and that’s nice. [Spoiler Warning] What’s better, though, is David eventually coming to understand that it was a mistake to turn the thing on in the first place. He makes the hard but right decision to time travel one more time so he can destroy it. So David ends and begins things with noble motives. Because the whole things started with him wanting to talk with his father again—and, if he can, save him from the car accident that claimed his life.
You can pinpoint the moment Project Almanac loses its way, and I have to start spoiling from here on out, so stop reading if you plan to attend despite my two-star rating. The movie’s fork-in-the-road moment is the live concert featured heavily in the trailers – a sequence that feels like it runs for 30 minutes, and a blatant rough patch in what was a swiftly-moving, glossy but passable exercise. It’s during this rowdy excursion that David fails to capitalize on his one moment to consummate a relationship with Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia), the hottest member of their Scooby Gang. Saturated in regret, David breaks his own rules to travel back to that moment and live the concert again. His new actions lead to romance, but as anyone who has watched a time-travel movie knows, he alters the timeline.
- Acknowledges complexity of time travel.
- Uses found footage efficiently.
- Main/supporting cast performances.
- Uninteresting story.
- Disguised as typical teen film.
SCORE: 4.5 / 10
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