I love films and TV shows about time travel, some of my favourite films focus on this very subject so naturally I was intrigued to see Project Almanac. As well as time travel Project Almanac also is a new addition to the found footage/hand held genre which are now so common to horror and sci-fi films.
Project Almanac has a simple enough plot and it is enjoyable to watch it unfold. However the simplicity of the plot maybe makes the film feel longer than it is, you do feel the length of almost every scene. This is a strange one though as although there is a longer feeling to the film I wasn’t once bored, this leads me to conclude that the film was good but it just needed to be a bit more engaging. One aspect that was engaging though was the films references to other films that feature time travel, of course I loved this and in particular a cool throwback to the 2012 sci-fi flick, Looper. I thought that the whole time travel element was handled very well though as it felt real and it was believable. Often this subject can become gimmicky, even just due to the films and TV shows that have employed it in the past (Back To The Future, Doctor Who etc) but here Project Almanac managed to make it seem really genuine! There was also a great atmosphere to the film, a tension almost. At times I felt like it could have been a horror film, this was probably simply due to the hand held camera method of shooting and the past horrors that have also adopted to it but nonetheless I enjoyed this extra addition to the feel of the film.
The characters in the movie were likeable enough however I think they could have been improved upon slightly which would have improved the film a lot. There was humour from the characters too however again just slightly more of this could have made for a more entertaining watch. I think the film takes a little too long to get going (apart from that great opening) so a quicker build up to making the time machine could have made for a more exciting film. This is almost a bog standard time travel movie in some senses, I found the ending to be a tad anti-climatic. However at the same time I did like how the film ended, I just thought the finale needed a bit more punch of both action and emotion. Despite this Project Almanac was a really satisfying movie but it did just play it a bit safe. There was potential here to make something really awesome but in the end the film just settles for being good. So by all means check this movie out, any fan of time travel should enjoy the movie and it will make you think if you had the machine what would you do!
Project Almanac is a solid flick and especially so for the handheld/found footage genre, its pop culture references are great and there is a nice overhanging tension to the whole film. Despite these positives the film does feel long and whilst it is interesting it never really takes any risks or manages to be bold.
BIGGEST FLAW – Too simple
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – References to other time travel films/TV shows
Rating – 7/10