This had the potential to be a really exciting time-travelling sci-fi thriller for this generation – but ends up being a lacklustre The Butterfly Effect-wannabe.
It’s a passable teen-targeted movie to while away a couple of hours, but after showing much promise it peters out into disappointing predictability – that really doesn’t make the most of its enticing premise.
It’s helped by a fairly amiable cast, headlined by Jonny Weston’s likeable teenage tech-nerd David Raskin, who uncovers his deceased father’s blueprints for a mysterious device which enables time travel, after seeing his reflection in a mirror during his seventh birthday party.
So when David and his cohorts, sister Christina (Virginia Gardner), Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista) – along with high school crush Jessie (Sofia Black-D’Elia) who stumbles across their plans – build the machine, they start using it for personal gain, like winning the lottery and outsmarting school bullies.
But when David breaks the rules and goes back in time by himself to make sure he starts dating Jessie after initially ‘messing up’ her early advances, the future starts to fall apart.
He then must push the boundaries of the machine to travel further into the past to make sure it was never invented – or let the community around him face the terrible consequences.
While this may sound like a pretty interesting plotline – which it really could have been – shoddy MTV-generation execution really puts this into TV-movie territory when it could have been so much more.
It runs out of its ideas very quickly after showing potential – seemingly using the far superior Josh Trank-directed Chronicle from a few years back as a yardstick – and sadly ends up being a bit of a mess.
Not the worst project you’ll see all year, but if you want to see a proper almanac, then watch Biff go back in time with Grays Sports Almanac in Back to the Future Part II again.