Project Almanac Movie Review: Where Teens and Time Travel Rule
If you were given a chance to travel back in time, would you? What would you change?
These are probably some of the most worn out questions out there but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about the endless possibilities once given the chance. It might seem ludicrous to even consider the possibility of time-travelling but according to science, it is very much plausible- difficult, yes, but possible. Naturally, this fascination over time travel doesn’t stop there.
Filmmakers have been playing around with the idea of manipulating the fabric of space-time for years and have been showing to us their own versions of this amazing phenomenon, with recent films like the graphically-stunning and mostly scientifically-relevant film Interstellar and the imaginative classic from the Marvel franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
As Dean Israelites’ debut film, Project Almanac offers a much more youthful take on the whole idea of time- travel or ‘temporal relocation’ as brainy protagonist David (Johny Weston) put it. In Project Almanac, David is desperate to win a grant for MIT and experiences something really weird. As he searches through his late dad’s old stuff in the attic, he stumbles upon a video camera and there he finds a footage of his seventh birthday.
What’s really strange is that he sees his present day self on the tape, right across from where his seven year old self was. David shows his camera-savvy sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) and charming friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista) the footage. They soon discover some strange mechanisms hidden under their basement floor and find that those mechanisms can be built into a time machine and can be powered up using hydrogen and car batteries.
This is where some of the complexities of Project Almanac come in: how can these barely graduating high school students build a proper time machine? Also, how can car batteries and cans of hydrogen provide enough energy to a machine that could basically manipulate the very fabric of space-time? These were some of the things that I needed to forget for a while (aside from the many awkward instances of sexism- I’m looking at you, Bay) so that I could enjoy the movie, which I did thanks to the witty one liners and funny conversations of the Project Almanac group.
One thing that I really liked about Project Almanac was that the characters were relatable. They weren’t that far from what I would have been like, had I become a shy and often misunderstood genius or a bullied teenager who just wanted to fit in and have fun.
Project Almanac definitely had fun moments. It made me think that winning the lottery, watching my favourite band as they play on the same stage, de-failing a subject and getting together with my crush are possible – with the use of a time machine, that is.
Like in any film, however, the worst things that could happen really do happen. After a series of going back and forth in time they realize that they are constantly changing reality and learn that even the smallest of things can generate a chain reaction that could ultimately turn into the downfall of the group.
Catch Project Almanac in a theater near you this February 4th, 2015.