One of my favorite Sundance films of all time is the little indie pic PRIMER, which set a bar so high I doubt it will probably never be topped. Welcome to Sundance 2008, where Magnet Releasing shared with us their recent acquisition, TIMECRIMES, a Spanish Sci-Fi thriller about time travel and the tangled webs we sew.
In Nacho Vigalondo ‘s film, a man accidentally gets into a time machine and travels back in time nearly an hour. Finding himself will be the first of a series of disasters of unforeseeable consequences.
What differentiates PRIMER from TIMECRIMES is entertainment value and the way the story unfolds. You see, PRIMER is pretty much the smartest movie ever made and by the end of the film you will feel like a kindergartener that just watched a film on NASA. TIMECRIMES is much simpler and enjoyable in the fact that it keeps all time travel terminology to a minimum. In Vigalondo’s script our character are not only based in the real world, but are introduced into the dilemma within a very logical thought. Anyone who reads magazines like Popular Science or visits websites like Slashdot knows one inherent truth… that you can only travel back in time as far as the machine was created. In TIMECRIMES our main character appears out of the time machine the second it’s turned on, which is a hilariously bold assumption of something you think might happen. In short, I dug that this film is logical, believable and well researched.
However, the one inherent flaw that TIMECRIMES does carry is that it’s so over-the-top that it becomes slightly slapstick. Like the classic saying, “ah, the tangled webs we sew,” CRIMES follows our main character as he continues to try and repair his mistake only further escalating the situation. In the end it’s so completely far fetched, but it’s all justified in the fact that everything must happen in order for the future events to occur. Look, when you see this movie, don’t try and think. Richard Kelly told us when we dug into him about DONNIE DARKO’s plotholes that it’s impossible not to have plotholes in a time travel movie. He might be right, because I can’t seem to understand how our main character ended up in the time travel device in the first place.
But beyond the deliberation, which can go on for hours, the film itself is wonderful executed. Such a complex plot is not easily conquered and Vigalondo did it with ease. Watching a film of this nature should feel effortless, not strenuous and in the end you should feel as if there’s some level of resolution. Vigalondo not only ties the story together but also seals it with a kiss. It’s truly a gem to behold.
Time travel movies are a rare breed as most often they come off cheesy, unrealistic and just damn stupid – such is not the case with TIMECRIMES. What you’ll get here in Magnet Releasing’s latest acquisition is probably one of the best time travel films of all time. Just sit back, relax and watch the madness unfold.
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