Sunday, May 11, 2014

If at first you don't succeed… [Timecrimes (2009) review]

Note:  This review was originally posted on Epinions.  I'm reposting it here, not really knowing what will become of the original.

I had heard that Netflix plans to rotate its selection of streaming movies, prompting me to go through the list of movies in my queue.  I had been meaning to watch Timecrimes for a while.  I knew it was about time travel, which I don‘t always like.  They tend to either be predestination movies, where nothing can be changed, or more fluid, where things can get screwy.  Thus, I kept putting it off.  It wasn’t until I saw “streaming available until…” that I was prompted to watch it.

The movie follows Héctor, a man who has moved into a new house with his wife, Clara.  They’re still getting everything set up.  While taking a break, Héctor is looking around the surrounding area with binoculars when he sees someone.  They’re not on his property, but it is unusual.  (It’s a forest, so he’s probably expecting wildlife.)  Upon closer inspection, he finds a woman undressing.  This makes him very curious, so while Clara is out picking something up, he goes over to investigate.

This is where things get unusual.  He finds the mystery woman lying naked on the ground.  He wants to help, but gets stabbed in the arm.  Some strange guy wearing bandages on his head is following Héctor.  He makes his way to a compound that appears deserted at first.  Fortunately, a scientist is there that is able to help Héctor hide from the strange man.  Héctor enters a large vat at night and comes out a few moments later to see daylight.  He realizes that he’s gone back in time a few hours.  He’d like to go home, but the scientist him advises against possibly interfering in his own life.

When events do unfold, certain things start to make sense.  (Héctor had gotten a phone call when no one should have known their number.)  More questions pop up, though.  What’s he supposed to do if he can’t go home?  Well, he comes across the woman that he saw undressing.  He might be able to help her, except that he gets run off the road, leading him to wrap his head in a bandage he had been using for his arm.

What’s interesting is that you have four main characters:  Héctor, Clara, the scientist and the woman in the forest.  That’s it.  There are also just a few locations to keep track of.  This makes it relatively easy to follow.  This is not a movie to watch when you’re tired or in the mood for something easy to understand.  It’s not that it’s difficult.  It’s more that you have to pay attention.  The story is consistent, meaning that I didn’t notice any mistakes.

Being that it’s a foreign film, I didn’t recognize any of the actors.  (On that note, Netflix streaming only has subtitles as an option, so I can’t speak as to dub.)  It’s not too heavy on suspense or on the sci-fi angle.  You have a man that gets caught up in a time-travel experiment gone horribly wrong.  From what I can tell, a remake is being made.  It would be interesting to see how that plays out.  (As with most remakes, I’m not holding my breath.)

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