Sunday, March 29, 2009

Timecrimes [2007]

Like my most recently reviewed Vinyan, Timecrimes (or natively Los Cronocrímenes) stripped down is basically a ripoff, this time it's Sundance's 2004 Grandy Jury Prize winning Primer, but that aside, it's a smart and entertaining thriller of timely proportions. 

Meet Héctor, a typical average-joe buffoon trying to enjoy the good weather and a day off of work.  Laziness gets the better of him, and he finds himself lounging in his backyard with some trustee binoculars.  At a distance his lenses find a beautiful woman in the woods all too carefree and undressing herself.  Héctor casts his wife away and ventures off his property for a closer peep.  Upon reaching a good distance he is attacked by an estranged man reminiscent of Sam Raimi's Darkman. 

After getting a scissor puncture to the arm, he escapes to a nearby science lab, is coaxed into a time machine and is sent back to earlier on that day...where present time Héctor is living his life...and the mystery, chaos, and confusion begins!

Time travel films are always tricky.  You can't get too complex or you'll confuse and dissuade the viewer.  You can't leave it too simple or it's too predictable with little to no room for surprises.  The much coveted and difficult to find balance is achieved in Timecrimes; maybe even moreso that the aforementioned Primer, which left me quite dumbfounded.  

A good comparison could be Christopher Nolan's Memento (although not a "time travel" movie per se).  Add an incredibly intelligent script, likeable, realistic and believable characters, and superb direction, and you get a film worth seeking out or a blind buy.


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