Project Almanac

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Project Almanac
"The film achieves so much more than you would imagine"

If this makes Back To The Future look like pure entertainment, don't knock it for that. A hand-held high school time altering thriller spiller makes no concessions to science dummies who can't keep up.

These kids have the knowledge - some of it - to take a leap of faith when one of them discovers a time machine under the floorboards of his Mom's basement, built by his Dad who died in a car crash when he was eight.

Copy picture

Most people would think twice, or at least once, about messing with the past ("First thing we do is kill Hitler," one of them quips) because this isn't a McFly rerun of prom night, it's pretty damn serious and scary.

The film achieves so much more than you would imagine. Having one of the girls in charge of the camera, like in Earth To Echo, is a risky business. All that bumpety bump shaky wave shake can be a real pain and you plead for the patronage of an old fashioned cinematographer.

The reason it works is the reason the film works. Rookie director Dean Israelite and writers Andrew Deutschman and Jason Pagan avoid the obvious hooks, like saving the world, or saving Dad. The kids are smart and their relationship with each other contains exactly the right energy, goofiness and trust that doesn't need parental help or approval.

What they do is awesome and they are cool about it, assuming a confidence that flies in the face of reality.

In the end it's personal. The science, the invention, the experiment appears like some kind of miracle. What it cannot do is guarantee the lives of others.

Ride with it. Don't question the maths. Believe.

Reviewed on: 20 Feb 2015
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A group of teenagers build a time machine.
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