|Die Frankfurt-Tipp Bewertung:|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 106 min.|
|FSK:||From 6 years|
The friends David (Jonny Weston) and Quinn (Sam Lerner) are astonished when they accidentally discover the prototype for a time machine in the basement of Davis' house, which David's father apparently constructed before he disappeared. With the help of David's sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) and her friends Adam (Allen Evangelista) and Jessie (Sofia Black-D`Elia) the two hobby tinkerers actually manage to get the bike running after some starting difficulties. For the students, this equipment is the perfect opportunity to let off steam before they go to college. They transport themselves to festivals and parties, collect lottery winnings or cheat at school tests. This time machine actually seems to offer them a chance for a better future by traveling to the past. But they don't suspect that their actions will have consequences when time jumps occur - consequences whose extent could not only affect them…
With his feature film debut "Project Almanac" director Dean Israelite has staged a time travel story that is not always quite logical, but certainly offers good entertainment - at least for viewers under the age of 25. Only the meanwhile really annoying Found Footage style might spoil the fun of the movie for older viewers, even though Israelite has found a way to keep the camera relatively quiet in some scenes and thus keep the wobbly look within bearable limits. But also the very simple dramaturgy and the not very sophisticated dialogues will appeal to a younger audience, who can identify better with the characters and their story.
Because what the friends do with the possibility to travel back in time is not really significant. It's not about changing the world, it's about having fun, letting go and living a life they've only dreamed of. And if you can wipe out a few annoying classmates or a nasty teacher, that's all the better. Especially the first two thirds of the movie are clearly tailored to a youthful audience, which is also well served. In the last third, dramatic tension takes over the helm. However, the story increasingly loses itself in inconsistencies, which also has a negative impact on the entertainment value.
The 12 million dollar Michael Bay production is neither theatrical nor visually very big. But in view of what Dean Israelite has gotten out of the very conventional material, at least he gives a hint of a certain talent. It's thanks to his direction that "Project Almanac" has become an entertaining fantasy adventure paired with a simple but nice coming-of-age story, some humor and a pinch of romance. If you still haven't had enough of the Found Footage look and if you like light Hollywood entertainment without much depth, you can confidently travel back in time with David and his friends. Worth seeing with small restrictions!
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