There’s a good reason why a lot of teenagers are anti authority; it’s simply jealousy. Jealousy out of the fact that their so close to eighteen yet they’re still treated like children. What is bad about certain teachers in high school is that they fail to see growing people in their classes, so they only look at the kids like actual children. I find it ridiculous that certain adults see life as that simple, that one can go from sudden immaturity to responsible. What being a teen is all about is going through puberty, and teaching our newfound adult on how to control their hormones and excitement.
If a teen wanting power is one thing, then having something beyond reach is something else. Given that I was never a very popular guy in high school, I knew plenty of kids that would care less on getting asked to the prom for seeing if their football team is going to the state championships. A lot of them would place their heads into another environment (for me, that was a lot of the movies that I was being exposed to in my first cinema class) or something more surreal. Project Almanac gives several teens something powerful.
An aspiring robotics inventor David Raskin has just been admitted to MIT after sending an impressive demonstration of a drone bot. His joy is short lived when he sees that no scholarship was offered to him, and therefore, no way to pay for school. His mother reveals that she’s planning on selling the house, which leads David, his sister Christina and friends Adam Le and Quinn to explore the attic to go through his father’s belongings. They find an old video camera that has footage from David’s seventh birthday. He manages to find his current self in the video for a split second in a mirror.
Seeing a future David in an home movie prompts them to going into his dad’s lab in the basement where he uncovers plans for a time machine. They go through many tests, but eventually create one that sends them back one day earlier. Jessie, a girl that David likes, gets in on the action and join the others as they use the machine to do over events they failed at before. At first their actions are little, but when David decides to change something major, this causes a domino effect that creates chaos around his hometown. He knows that to fix everything, he may have to time jump really far back.
Project Almanac is another found footage movie that is surprisingly not a horror movie. I figured that since I have not seen time travel done in the format, I was certainly curious on how this was going to be done (even with Michael Bay as a producer). For the first fifty minutes, I was actually getting into the angle that this story was going; a smart teen with some smart friends, they try and fail at building the machine several times and even use it in ways that I wish I would have at that age. I was even okay with a lot of the time travel that contradicts their plans as I waited for the movie to explain the mater, yet doesn’t.
I feel that Project Almanac could have easily been the next Chronicle (my current favorite found footage film) had it taken advantage of the “second chance” method further. But once the trouble unfolds, the film takes a downward spiral as it becomes more of an action movie, rather then trying to go into the science detail that would have explained so much. As is, the film is more entertaining then I would have expected.
I’ll give this three temporal displacement devices out of five. What’s interesting is that part that I should have found the most boring turns out to be the best part; the discovery of the machine. It’s too bad that the rest of the story couldn’t match up. Not a good found footage story, but not the worst either.