Friday, 2 May 2014

Timecrimes (Los Cronocrímenes) (2007)

There isn't too much that can be said about Timecrimes without spoiling what exactly transpires in it. To put it shortly and sweetly: Timecrimes is a smart and suspenseful thriller that has an interesting take on time travel movies. It's pretty small in scale (no going back in time to save the planet) and doesn't get too convoluted to follow, a trap that many films like this fall into.

I'll go into more detail and still try to avoid spoilers below, but it really is best to go into Timecrimes completely blind.


Timecrimes is a clever film in that it plays with your expectations well and takes what you think will be a standard time travel plot and puts more than one interesting spin on it. Know-it-alls like myself will probably notice a number of things throughout and think "Well that doesn't make any sense because of [some timetravel techno-babble]" only to later be proven wrong as it all gets meticulously explained away with later developments.

That said, it is straightforward enough and not a headache to follow. It is not like Primer. Primer gets lauded constantly as the thinking man's timetravel movie, but that's just because the logic in it makes sense (i.e. you can't travel back to before the time machine was switched on) and because it's really, really complicated. I'll gladly admit to not having a clue to what exactly goes down in the last twenty minutes of that film, but thankfully I do in Timecrimes. In this case, someone literally draws a concise little diagram for it. If you can figure out a curved line and two x's then congratulations, you can follow Timecrimes.

A slippery, dark slope forms the meat of the film, as Hector tries to fix the problem's he has caused by accidentally going back in time. There are some pretty grim implications in trying to resolve things by messing with what's already happened, what has to happen and what's going to happen. But you also have the question of whether anybody is responsible for these things because didn't they have to happen to make time work? Timecrimes manages to raise some interesting questions about the notion of travelling in time, but uses a deft touch to avoid falling into the ones that can easily unravel the whole piece.

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