A bunch of high-school students and a time machine. What could go wrong?

Eduard Danalache, Staff Reporter

Take a look at that movie trailer. Seems pretty good right? I thought so too. It hints at a movie full of action, suspense, and ethical time-travel conundrums. However, if you walk into a showing of Project Almanac hoping to see the movie that they showed in the trailer, you’ll be disappointed.

The idea of the movie is a bit cliché: a bunch of high-school students, one of which, David, got accepted into MIT for creating a Wi-Fi drone, find the schematics for a time machine that their father worked on for the U.S. government. The students’ adventure starts innocuously, albeit a little unrealistically, when they “borrow” a Prius to get the time machine to work. They manage to send a camera back in time two hours, proving that they’re definitely the type of geniuses that get admitted into MIT. In a couple of minutes David’s crush easily convinces him that the obvious next step in experimentation is to test the machine on five humans at once. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you how that’s a bad idea. David, now an MIT student, along with his two geeky friends, have apparently never heard of repeated trials – or they’re just immature high-school students who don’t know the meaning of self-control. Either way, I was face-palming for a couple of minutes following their awful decision-making. David literally tells them all that there is a fairly high chance that they could die as they travel back in time. Their response? #yolo.

All throughout the movie, I ended up questioning the judgment of the characters. Maybe that was the writer’s point: make them as stereotypically immature as high-school students can be. But why rob them of the most basic logic? There’s a point at which they travel back in time to attend a concert (after winning the lottery, of course). Why do they feel the need to play with time when they’re 18-year-old millionaires? The original goal of the time travel was to be able to afford MIT, but now it has degraded to fooling around with the past. Eventually their time-travel adventures lead to changes in the present. Apparently messing around with things in the past can be dangerous. Being the MIT-level scholar that he is, David decides to single-handedly travel back and fix all of the problems that they’ve caused. Face palming ensued as David created more and more problems, even causing a paradox in which his girlfriend disappears.

I wish I had a time machine to go back and make myself watch a different movie. I heard Birdman is pretty good.