Project Almanac **

Is it worth $10? No 

“Project Almanac” takes the preposterous, makes it absurd and turns it into the ridiculous. It’s kind of fun in a total-trash-awful sort of way. But then it commits the biggest sin of all: It takes itself seriously in the last act, and in doing so the whole thing falls apart.

The story follows high school science geek David (Jonny Weston), his friends Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista), his sister Christina (Ginny Gardner) and his crush Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) as they construct a time machine in David’s basement. After breaking into their high school and stealing hydrogen they’re able to fit the time machine into David’s backpack, which is good because they also control it with a smartphone.

Once they start time travelling director Dean Israelite’s film is at its best, as the entire middle section is the teenagers doing crazy fun things that teenagers with the power of time travel can and would do. This includes winning the lottery, a trip to Lollapalooza, acing a science test and more. And of course they film everything, even at moments that have no reason to be filmed nor could we believe actually would be filmed. But if they didn’t we wouldn’t have another shaky and nauseating found footage movie.


The downside to the time travel fun are the ripple effects that change the future, which naturally leads to complications. The way this plays out is tired and predictable, and worse adds an element of seriousness that belies the otherwise self-aware silliness of the story.

As is often the case in time travel movies there are plenty of plot holes, but then “Project Almanac” isn’t worried about logic. Far from it. It’s successful if it whisks you away in its story and gives you a smile as you leave the theater. Given that I was rolling my eyes as I left the theater, I say pass on this one.

Did you know?

The film was made by Platinum Dunes, a production company owned by Michael Bay (“Transformers”) that has a first-look distribution deal with Paramount.

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