Ready to melt your brain?
This dizzy, never-boring time travel odyssey is so complex that to explain all its twists and turns would take a lot more than the 100 words this blog allows me.
Like a lot, lot.
Suffice it to say that if you enjoy seeing Ethan Hawke command the screen (and who doesn’t?), firmly grab on to your couch and hold on for dear life as the convoluted plot plays out.
Based on a Robert A. Heinlein story, it bobs and weaves, backtracks and mystifies, and leaves you feeling both disorientated and giddy.
Exactly what the doctor ordered.
Tourists, go home.
The locals are less than friendly when Earth’s finest astronauts show up one day and start poking around the red planet in pursuit of Mars memorabilia.
Though maybe you can’t blame them.
Because if you look closely, most of the time the humans get zapped or chased or threatened in any way, it’s only after they’ve wandered where they shouldn’t have, and randomly started swinging machetes around.
You carve a chunk out of the local bat-rat-spider-crab creature, you can’t suddenly act surprised when it decides to try and eat you in revenge.
Let’s go for a drive.
Essentially one extended action scene, broken up by small bits of dialogue and drama, this remains one of the great rock-me, sock-me flicks.
Director George Miller, who topped himself 30+ years later with Mad Max: Fury Road, is in fine form here, pitting a grungy Mel Gibson against the dregs of humanity.
There’s a story, or at least part of one, about a bid to transport oil from one barren outpost to another barren outpost, but that’s not why we’re here.
We came for the squeal of metal on metal, and boy howdy, does this deliver.
It’s a fight across time and space.
Jack the Ripper gets his hands on a time machine, opening up a new world of potential victims, but there’s one man who can stop him — famed writer H.G. Wells, the man who concocted the ability to jump between decades.
Pursuing his friend/foe from 1893 to 1979, he finds danger, adventure, and romance in this very-winning sci-fi slice of “what if?”
Mary Steenburgen is a particular delight as a “modern” woman intrigued by the very-proper Wells, even if he seems a bit demented with his tales of time-hopping mad men.
Classy entertainment for smart people.
“Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!”
Richard Kelly carves up suburbia like a surgeon, revealing all the dark, hidden secrets begging to get out.
And that’s before the giant metallic rabbit, time travel, and space vortexes enter the conversation.
Stumbling along in an over-medicated haze, Jake Gyllenhaal is the linchpin holding everything together, his warped grin barely disguising the mix of anguish and anger which roil his soul.
The universe is collapsing on itself — or something like that — and this high school low-achiever holds the key to everyone’s fate.
If he can just wake up in time.