Time and Time Again

Four Time Travel Films To Spend Some Time With
In Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola, 1986), unhappily married Kathleen Turner faints at her school reunion and wakes up 25 years earlier in her high school body. Naturally she's slightly confused, but delighted with the opportunity to change her life and make up for things she regretted doing (or not doing) first time round. Not as fun or inventive as the previous year's Back to the Future, but a pleasant enough watch, livened up by spotting before-they-were-famous turns by Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, Sofia Coppola and a couple others.

Deja Vu (Tony Scott, 2006) sees Denzel Washington investigating a terrorist bombing. Luckily, a shady government team led by Val Kilmer has a super-secret, hi-tech program which allows them to see 4 days into the past. So they sit around watching the footage for clues as to the bomber, but things get complicated when Denzel falls for a woman who was killed in the bombing and suspects he can be more than just a passive viewer of the past. It's a bit like watching Big Brother when it's on the Channel 4 + 1 station, but with less chavs and more chance of something exciting happening. Denzel struggles manfully to keep the thing grounded, but eventually it just becomes too silly and convoluted to even bother worrying about gaping plot holes. Rather ironically, this is one film you won't want to see again.

Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2009) is a twisty-turny thriller which strives for a horror element as well as time-travel, with The Shining an obvious influence. A group of friends out on sailing trip are forced to board a mysterious, deserted ship, whereupon they experience some disturbing goings-on, not least the masked figure which seems intent on killing them. It might leave a few questions unanswered, but it generates a fair amount of tension, creepy moments and is actually quite sad come the end. Plus it benefits from a strong performance from the lovely Melissa George in the lead role. Can't wait for the sequel Rectangle.

We've saved the best for last with the Spanish effort Timecrimes (Nacho Vigalondo, 2007). Whereas the films above tie themselves up a little (or a lot in the case of Deja Vu) with their time-travel element, this is tightly plotted, thanks mainly to keeping the cast few and the location small. A man relaxing at his house in the country spots a naked girl through his binoculars and goes to investigate, but gets more than he bargained for. The story doesn't amount to very much in the end, but has an engaging central performance and a satisfying resolution. Good fun and will almost certainly be better than the planned US remake.

That's it, we're out of time. I must hit the road. Although, where I'm going I don't need roads...

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