What would you do if you discovered a time machine?
Would you, like Bill and Ted, use it to put on a a most excellent school presentation? Perhaps you would use it to travel back in time to meet famous people and see famous events. Maybe, like Ashton Kuscher, in The Butterfly Effect, you would try to make sure the terrible things of your past never happened. Some many options, so little time… see what I did there? It’s about time travel…
Project Almanac is a sci-fi found-footage film about a group of intelligent teenagers who stumble upon classified DARPA research into “temporal relocation.” Using the blueprints they piece together, this temporal relocation machine, and through much trial and error, begin to see it working. Which brings us back to the question: what would you do if you stumbled upon this amazing technology? Many of us, I believe, would have grandiose plans of stopping World Wars, saving loved ones or averting major crises. However, many of us would probably react similarly to these high schoolers and use it to pass a test we failed, get back at someone who hurt us or win the lottery. That is one of the strengths of this movie the “I would totally do that” believability of what these kids did. Sure, they joked about going back and killing Hitler. “That’s Time Travel 101,” they said. But, that’s a whole thing, we’d have to fly to Germany, get close to Hitler… cheating on a test is way easier. The movie is much more entertaining when stuff starts to go wrong, when time travel causes an unexpected ripple effect due to to many changes and protagonist David Raskin (Jonny Weston, Taken 3) has to figure out how to fix it. Which, overall, was enjoyable.
My major problem with this movie is the parts that had nothing to do with time travel or that ignored the “rules” they had setup for time travel (which I will not spoil). There is one scene that is basically a commercial for MTV and Lolapalooza that really lost me. Yes, there was some cute “will they won’t they” moments, but that’s really not what I’m looking for in a time travel movie. If you’re willing to not think to much about the science, there is a lot to like in Project Almanac. The characters are likeable and the story is good enough. Project Almanac certainly won’t win any awards for this movie, but it will be a fun movie to see with your friends. I’m not sure I’d suggest it to most adults because most of the themes are pretty angsty awkward teen in nature, some adults may be bored or annoyed…
It is good to note however that there is a good deal of sexual content in this film including: the implication of sex, teen girls wearing revealing clothes, a girl opening her towel towards her boyfriend as he stares at her and sexual language. There is also a scene involving underage drinking. For a full content breakdown check out the links below.
What are your thoughts about Project Almanac? Are humans ready for time travel or should it be left alone? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts below.