Thursday, July 14, 2016

Paradox (2016)

It’s hard enough defending a group from a gunman.  It’s worse when the gunman may be part of said group.  Add to that the realization that you might be the gunman and you have Paradox.

The movie starts with someone calling his boss to warn him not to come in to work.  He’s then gunned down.  We then see two government agents staking out a building.  One is telling the other who all the major players are.  Mr. Landau is the guy running Project 880.  On his team are Jim, William, Randy, Lewis and Gale.  Jim ends up being the one to go an hour into the future.

Once there, Jim finds the self-destruct sequence has been activated.  Everyone he sees is dead or dying.  Oh, and there’s the gunman on the loose.  Jim manages to take a video camera back with him, but the video gets corrupted on the trip back, making it almost useless.  So, two options present themselves.  The group can try to change the future by working on the video or they can accept their fate and die.  Oh, and someone might be a turncoat for the government.

This is one of those movies I stumbled upon while browsing Netflix.  Given the TV-MA rating, I’m assuming this was a made-for-TV movie.  The acting was pretty good, as were the effects.  I feel like it’s the writers that could have done better. The entire time-travel angle seems like just another plot device.  Jim tells everyone they’re going to die and has to watch them get hurt one by one.  Some people feel like changing the timeline might be a bad idea, but they can all agree that letting themselves be murdered sounds like a bad idea, too.

It ends up being a way of making us wonder who it could be.  Since it could be anyone, the killer can be in two places at once.  All of the characters can’t really claim innocence since they don’t know if they’re going to become the killer.  Instead of using this to make the story interesting, it ends up becoming a run-through of all the clichés you’d expect to find in a time-travel movie.  When it’s revealed who the killer is, we get to see a series of you-are-me arguments.  The future version of the character knows what the past version of the character was thinking, implying that there’s no choice in what’s going to happen.

We also find out that several people came from the future to capitalize on knowledge of the stock market and build the time machine, thus leading to a bootstrap paradox.  Did someone really invent time travel or did someone bring the basics back with them?

With movies like Time Lapse and Timecrimes, we see that time travel can be used to further the story and provide something to think about.  Here, it’s just something to move the story along.  The whole thing seems like an exercise in futility.

IMDb page

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