The latest addition to the plethora of found footage films that have been released over the last few years, comes in the form of Project Almanac. An MTV/Michael Bay produced sci-fi adventure; that in itself should tell you all you need to know about the film, that sees a group of teenagers build a time machine (operated by a smartphone, no less) after finding blueprints, left behind by a missing father.
A teenagers time travelling fantasy; Project Almanac is a hyper-energetic film, that made me feel old (and I’m only 26!). With the space-time continuum at their fingertips, the group of friends decide to travel back in time to pass their recently failed exams, stand up to bullies, win the lottery, go to a music festival (with backstage passes!), buy fast cars, and finally get a girlfriend. Whilst the films enthusaism is never in question, the relentless music video stylings of Project Almanac get very irksome, very quickly. Cause and effect, paradoxes and other cautionary time travel staples, are all touched upon, but far too late in the movie to warrant any real investment in the story. The ‘characters’, which is a term I use extremely loosley here, are all one dimensonal cliches if they’re a boy, and nothing but a pair of legs if they’re a girl (Michael Bay did produce afterall).
It’s a shame, because there are hints that Project Almanac could have been something great, had it spent a lot more time on actually storytelling, as opposed to crafting headache causing segments, like the overly long festival scene. It will play well to its teenage audience though, projecting their high school dreams of time travel onto the big-screen. It’s loud, fast paced and everybody looks like they had fun making the film. I just wish I’d had as much fun watching it.
Image credit to http://www.impawards.com