Project Almanac

Mar 01, 2015

When promising student David Raskin (Jonny Weston) discovers an old camcorder containing footage of his seventh birthday, he is shocked to see his teenage self among the party guests.

His confusion turns to excitement when he discovers secret plans for a time machine and, together with his sister Christina, new friend Jessie and best friends Adam and Quinn, he sets about building the machine.

When they successfully transport themselves 24 hours into the past, the teens realise they have the chance to re-create their futures and embark on a series of journeys which sees them getting even with bullies, re-taking important tests and even reliving painfully awkward romantic moments (with better results, of course). As they revel in their rapidly improving lives, David decides to push the machine further, until a seemingly harmless trip into the past unleashes a devastating ripple effect which drastically alters not only his friends’ lives, but the world.

Weston delivers a strong performance as David, while Sam Lerner brings a touch of comedy as his best friend Quinn Goldberg and Sofia Black-D’Elia plays love interest Jessie Pierce. Virginia Gardner and Allen Evangelista complete the time travelling team as David’s sister Christina (who exacts revenge on her bully in an applause-worthy moment) and best friend Adam Le. The young cast handle their roles well, and the chemistry between Weston and D’Elia enable them to create a realistic relationship which blossoms from awkward crush to teenage love.

Directed by Dean Israelite and produced by Michael Bay (Transformers), Project Almanac is a sci-fi thriller aimed at teen viewers and it demands very little from the audience. Despite its time-travel themes, the plot starts off simply, but the movie becomes more difficult to follow as a desperate David makes consecutive journeys backwards, each resulting in slightly altered futures. A surprise discovery in the film’s final moments is a little confusing, and will likely be a topic of heated discussion among time-travel enthusiasts.

Despite this – and the fact that the film relies largely on hand-held cameras, with the resulting footage challenging on the eyes – Project Almanac is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.


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