A good film to have on in the background and not actually watch. Fun but with little else.
WOO! YEAH! ALRIGHT! WOOOO!
Do the above statements fill you with the sudden need to play an Avicii song? Pull pranks on your bros? Or yell Spring Break at every conceivable moment? If so then Project Almanac is definitely the film for you.
From those guys that probably watched Chronical and Project X back to back, and produced by cinematic auteur Michael Bay, comes the found footage film guaranteed to sell to the American teen demographic. You’ve heard the plot before, David is the run-of-the-mill high school nerd, he has a crush on the hottest girl in school, wants to go to a good college, and hangs around with his similarly nerdy friends, until one discovery changes his plot, I mean life, forever.
David is perpetually followed by his camera-wielding sister (who happens to look nothing like him, be attractive, and be introduced in every scene via a shot of her cleavage) as she documents their daily lives. The story begins when David is accepted into MIT, but fails to achieve his scholarship application, meaning he would be unable to afford to go; unless of course the sister didn’t spend all of the family budget on – seemingly – a RED EPIC camera (currently retailing at $57,000) to shoot everything on. So David has to reapply by providing a second experiment, leading him to root through his late father’s things in the hopes that there’s something half-finished. Lo and behold they discover the old family video camera with footage from David’s seventh birthday, only to see present-day David in the background of the shot.
After a couple “Woah dude!”s the gang sets about constructing a time machine that was apparently hidden in the basement, but first they need parts. So what’s on the list? Well first they have to use the incredible processing power of their Xbox 360 of course. Next they have to steal hydrogen from the school because they need a plot point later on. Then finally they need more power, because so far the machine only has the ability to make objects float, such as this amazing new flavour of Red Bull right in your face. Well the neighbours are throwing a party and the hottest girl in school has a car, so let’s just hook up her car battery without asking. Funnily enough this all works, and not only that but the hot girl is now interested. Woo!
Anyway, from here the film seems to just turn into a montage of things you can do with time travel, all of which you can derive pretty easily from the trailer, culminating in a ten minute Lollapalooza advert. During this time the hot girl has now fallen for the protagonist, and after a smidge of padded up drama they end up together. Little did they know that in America, teenage sex is the catalyst for all disasters and they must quickly undo everything before it’s too late. Whilst you may feel as though I’ve given away too much of the plot, this really is all from the trailer, it’s right there below, yes the video with the thumbnail of the boobs.
I guess I should divert here from just mocking the plot of the film in order to provide an actual review. Overall, Project Almanac is not a bad film, nor is it a great one, it is clearly just a cookie-cutter teen film filling in another trend. The script does have its moments of fun, the acting isn’t all bad, and the visual effects were passable in parts, despite being cheesy. Project Almanac does nothing much but say “Look at this! This is really cool! Don’t you wish you had this cool thing!”, and for the most part I have to agree, it would be cool. The most enjoyable thing about this film is imagining what you would do with time travel, instead of them. You don’t care too much about the characters, because the film doesn’t, and when you don’t understand the ending, it’s not because it was complex (it really isn’t), it’s because your brain turned off waiting for the fun to come back.
Project Almanac (2015), directed by Dean Israelite, is distributed in the UK on DVD and Blu-ray disc by Paramount Home Entertainment, Certificate 12.