‘Project Almanac’ is a time travel thriller, presented through found footage style filming.
I’m not a naysayer on found footage films. The genre was popularised to audiences in 1999 with ‘The Blair Witch Project’, and more recently with ‘Paranormal Activity’, and while that genre worked with those films thanks to a highly positive reception from critics and audiences alike, recently, the genre has been overexposed, but the style isn’t bad, it just depends on the story attached to the style of filming, and while it worked with my favourite found footage film ‘Chronicle’, ‘Project Almanac’ suffers of a lack of cohesive story, and rather focuses on style than substance.
Not to say the film is all bad, there are some moments here and then, but the film lacks a long-term focused story. Instead the film shows about jumping from one area to another using time travel as a device, which is cool, but without a solidified story, all we are watching are high school students jumping through time, without a real meaning or any form of character development, other than it will be cool to time travel around different forms of time.
However, the film did brought up a plot point, which is what I thought the film’s story would focus, instead that plot point isn’t brought up until the film’s final ten minutes, as it focuses on another plot point instead, which is fine, but its already done in other time travel films such as ‘Back to the Future: Part II’.
Then there’s the acting, which isn’t that great, with the exception of Sofia Black D’Elia which was the stand-out of the cast, delivering a good performance and an effective emotional scene. The film does have some pretty neat visuals, but in the end, the characters are one-dimensional and paper thin, with the exception of David, who we learn about his backstory and has somewhat of a character development among the film’s leading stars.
‘Project Almanac’ does have some really cool moments of entertainment and humour, but suffers from a real lack of long-term story which all it seemed was just jumping through time.
Oh, and there’s the reappearing, disappearing bag, all in one scene. I am not joking!