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Project Almanac


Stars: Jonny Weston, Sofia Black D'Elia, Sam Lerner, Virginia Gardner, Allen Evangelista

Director: Dean Israelite

What with mobile camerawork that's almost as dizzying as the hole-strewn plot, you'll probably just be glad to watch the action in this one and try going with the flow.

College student David (Weston), who lost his dad in a car crash when he was seven, discovers equipment hidden in the basement of his home that provides the key to 'temporal relocation'. In other words, it's a time machine.

There's also a video cameo, whose film of his seventh birthday shows himself (at 17) reflected in a mirror. 'What's going on?'. 'I don't know' - sample ensuing dialogue that sums up one's reaction to this muddled, not to mention eye-hurting film.

What I can tell you is that David, his hot sister (Gardner), two buddies (Lerner, Evangelista) and Jessie (D'Elia), the girl he fancies, make their way through much frying of batteries and searches for a power source to actually travel back hours, then 10 years, in time.

They win a lottery, and everything seems tickety-boo until a tongue-tied David fails to tell Jessie he loves her at a crucial moment on one of their trips, and decides to go back in time alone to remedy things.

The key to this sort of thing is persuading the audience to at least believe in it all while it's up there on the screen, but we never do that with this plotting, even if we could follow it all.

Occasionally, the meddling with time leads to some felicitous moments, but they're too few. Performances from the cast of unknowns are enthusiastic, with Gardner especially lively.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
107 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 14 Feb 2015