Project Almanac is a jaded, adolescent-focused fiasco that completely bungles a great concept and then reduces it to rumble. This catastrophe is an underwhelming murder scene where sci-fi lovers are forced to bear witness to the tragic butchering of time travel. It offers a very minimal amount of satisfaction as it seduces lovers of science fiction with the promise of something special. The film stars Johnny Weston (Chasing Mavericks), Sofia Black D’Elia (The Immigrant), Sam Lerner (Nobody Walks), Allen Evangelista (Balls Out: Gary The Tennis Coach), and Virginia Gardner (The Goldbergs tv series).
This mishap is a paradoxical, bungled stab at trying to infuse a reality based concept with a sci-fi/ action story in a modestly effective attempt to grant a new perspective on the oft used concept of time travel. It revolves around a group of teens who stumble across a time machine then begin to use it for selfish purpose unbeknownst of the consequences that come as a result of their indulgence. The film is fatally flawed and it neuters the great trailer that was associated with it.
Despite having a sound and promising premise, Project Almanac fails in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, it falters because of its choice of the usage of the first person camera angle. This really murders the enjoyment of the story. This camera angle truly robs the audience of a majority of the enjoyment of this film. The movie would have been far better served with a normal camera angle and that would have allowed the audience to truly absorb all of the details of this film. Instead, the shaky and often misplaced camera angles detract from the story. Secondly, the story is decent but it’s far too focused on the adolescent indulgences. This offsets much of the enjoyment of the story for people beyond the target audience. We all understand the premise of the misuse of power by the teens and the fact that is the foundation of this story but with a running time of about 90 minutes, far too much is wasted on the adolescent hijinks of the quintet. It takes too long to get to the heart of the story. After nearly 70 min in. The true core of the film finally begins to fall into place.
The film is comprised of mostly unknowns. As with most of the films that use this angle, it really works well. All of them perform admirably but the failure of the film is not on their shoulders. Despite the youth of the cast, each of them make the most of this doomed spectacle.
Project Almanac could have been special. It had all the great makings of a truly enjoyable science fiction film and then the movie started. This was one of the more disappointing films for me in some time. After a promising trailer then multiple adjustment with its release the date, I thought the film to be something special. Instead, what we get is an MTV type of rip off reality film that offers more disappointment than satisfaction. Instead of actually indulging the story, the film takes the easy way out and turns it into one teenage indulgence after the other then tries to redeem itself in the waning moments with a good climax and some thought provoking questions. It’s sure a disappointment to anyone beyond the age of 20 but it’s not a dreadful watch. Redbox or Netflix. Don’t waste any more than that on this.