Project Almanac – Movie Review
Project Almanac – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 30 Jan 2015
A group of teenagers including an MIT hopeful find top secret plans hidden by his deceased father in a basement compartment. By following the plans, they are able to build a time machine. They begin using it to experiment, then begin doing things like playing pranks and getting back at a mean girl at school. Eventually, things go to far and the repercussions are more than they bargained for.
If that sounds like the plot of every time travel movie ever made, that is because it is. Project Almanac employs a handheld style to fake that “not quite found footage, but not particularly well shot” look. It is borderline nauseating and relentlessly bouncing the screen. When the main character David (Jonny Weston) starts to break the rules he put in place and uses the time machine alone to get a second chance at a romantic relationship with Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) both the character and the plot go sideways. David is a brilliant guy who can follow blueprints and make a time machine. He is a reasonable character. The idea that he would use the time machine to try and orchestrate a relationship with Jessie is ridiculous. She’s a good friend and goes everywhere with him. Why not just ask her out and deal with it if she isn’t interested?
The ending (which I won’t spoil) is a total slap in the face and leaves the audience feeling like they just wasted their time. For a better teenage movie in this faux found footage style, see Chronicle. Don’t bother with Project Almanac.
Amber, Aaron and I saw it in the theater and had a discussion in the car: