Saturday, February 28, 2015

Movie Review ... Project Almanac


Project Almanac poster‘Project Almanac’ explores time-travel, a concept used for decades in all forms of entertainment.  ‘Doctor Who’ is a classic example of using it as a basis for spectacular TV stories.  Like others, it asks whether viewers want to travel in time or to actually change it.  These tales usually have a moral message to be careful in altering anything.  This is an ideal the characters in ‘Project Almanac’ learn as they confront the ‘butterfly effect’ in messing with established time-lines.

A group of friends, including David (Jonny Weston) and Jessie (Sofia Black D’Elia), find plans for a time machine.  Eager to test their new discovery, they put their technological knowledge to good use.  Successfully using the machine to correct past errors, they become enraptured by possibilities.  Eventually exploiting time-travel for personal needs, they learn the cost this brings.  Desperate to right their recent wrongs, the gang struggles to re-set history’s course before time catches up with them.

‘Project Almanac’ is a reasonably diverting sci-fi yarn.  Overlooking the many plot holes turns the story into a fun ride in the time vortex.  How all deal with the consequences of their actions is interesting and well played by the decent cast.  Jonny Weston as David is particularly good in conveying the growing addiction his character has towards the machine.  Obsessed with correcting the time-line, his descent into near-madness ensures ‘Project Almanac’ is consistently watch-able.

Dean Israelite’s direction grapples with the story as best he can.  He would have been more successful had he reigned in overlong scenes and hidden the more illogical aspects of the concept.  Pedantic viewers may have a field day spotting inconsistencies although for this type of film ‘Project Almanac’ is more entertaining than most.  As a ‘found footage’ movie, it’s a complete failure with this visual trick detracting from the drama.  The story doesn’t lend itself to the format, although the cast do their best to overcome this obstacle.

Better than expected, ‘Project Almanac’ is worthy viewing.  No new ground is broken although time will be kinder to this film than to ‘Project Almanac’s’ wayward characters.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  6

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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