Leon van Nierop
2 minute read
17 Apr 2015
2:00 pm

Project Almanac movie review

Leon van Nierop

Parents, I wouldn't really worry about this one too much – neither to leave the safety of your house for when load shedding makes it unbearable, nor if your kids ask for extra pocket money to celebrate Friday night with it.

YOUNG LOVE. Left to right: Jonny Weston is David Raskin and Sofia Black D'Elia is Jessie Pierce. Pictures: UIP.

It is a harmless, if slightly bland distraction from everyday problems, with filmmakers trying very hard to dish up some cool sci-fi entertainment for Generation Y without freaking them out too much.

It rather reminds of Back to the Future for a new generation, but is not nearly in the same class.

A group of teenagers, the standard variety that always populate these kinds of movies throughout the existence of modern day cinema, discover a secret formula and manage to manipulate time for their own benefit. But as poor doctor Frankenstein discovered, don’t meddle in time or God’s creation – you will be punished most violently for your transgressions.

Not that this group of good-lookers suffers nearly the same consequences as doctor Frankenstein or his creature. As a matter of fact, they manage to have lot of harmless, if plain and weak attempts at fun, laugh frequently, experience awesome youthful moments of wide-eyed surprise and survive some pretty cool adventures in the process. Nothing too serious, you understand – hence the safe PG-restriction. So the youngsters can chill out and munch their way through a box of popcorn with the greatest of ease without harming their stressed-out brain cells or over-used cellphone buttons, except to tweet afterwards: “seen Pr Alma-movie”. Okay.

The film talks a young and hip language, so a free moving camera, modern film techniques, special effects and a cool style are trademarks of this New Age teen drama that will not challenge something like Robot Overlords. You will not have missed anything, if you ignore it.

The acting is quite good, as young, especially unknown actors usually know this is their only chance to impress other directors and producers. Hence the intense performances.

But pretty young things acting well is not enough to fork out your hard-earned money for.