My Rating: 4 stars
I was really excited to see this movie, now that I’m back into a full-fledged, time travel movie kick. I had actually been meaning to watch this one for quite some time now, but for one reason or another, I never got around to it. (Really, I know exactly why I hadn’t watched it yet, and it has something to do with full seasons of my favorite TV shows being available to stream through Netflix). But also, I find that I need to store up a fair amount of mental energy before I’m willing to commit to a time travelling script. Some of them are easier to understand than others, but I find that they all require my pretty focused attention.
The story in this film is your classic closed-universe time travel story. That’s the kind where you really can’t affect the past of the future, no matter what you do, because everything has already been done. Another film in this vein is The TimeTraveler’s Wife. These stories are opposed to open-universe time travel stories, where characters have to be really careful about what they do because they really do have the possibility of royally screwing things up with just the tiniest mistake. Films in this tradition include Looper, which I recently reviewed, and one of my all-time favorites, Primer. I can’t make up my mind which kind I like better. The open-universe stories fill me with such terror. I get a feeling of dread in my stomach when I see characters haphazardly stumbling into trouble. And, it’s fun to get that kind of thrill. But, the closed-universe story lines tend to make me start having very philosophical and existential thoughts—cursing the futility of it all. And I find that kind of thing very pleasurable, too.
The story in this film is about a man who unwittingly travels back in time a couple of hours, and who must try his hardest to avoid bumping into himself and tearing open the fabric of the universe. The dramatic tension comes from the audience watching him blunder through this task in a pretty chaotic, mildly disastrous fashion. The movie is definitely a thriller, and provides plenty very tense, and sometimes sexy moments. But, I think I’d only recommend this movie to people who are already fans of time travel stories. The story is pretty simple, and I think enjoyment of this film comes from appreciating the director’s variations on a classic theme. I’m not entirely sure there’s enough other stuff going on in the movie to capture the attention of the casual viewer. But, I really liked it, and it was definitely a good addition to my own portfolio.