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Primer (2004)

  Directed by: Shane Carruth
Written by: Shane Carruth
Starring: Shane Carruth, Casey Gooden, David Sullivan, Anand Upadhyaya
Links: Primer on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD
Genre: Sci-Fi

This movie gets: 4.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Whoa! I mean, what was that? You travel through time HOW?" - a review by thestudent

In 1999 I walked out of the open air cinema in Broome, scratching my head and wondering what exactly to make of The Matrix (1999). After having seen The Matrix two or three more times, I now get the meaning of the film; its complicated notions, twists and turns.

Primer is precisely the sort of film you shouldn't blow two hours on at a film festival, as it needs repeated viewings. Staring Director/Writer/etc. Shane Carruth, this film suckered me in with the following sentence from its synopsis on the MIFF 2005 website:

Moonlighting research geeks fluke the impossible: a garage-built and gaffer-taped, but functioning, time machine. The implications of their discovery are limitless but, as is so often the case, human beings achieve greatness only after they succumb to their basest instincts.

Am I the only person who thinks: “Awesome, they'll go forward and get lottery results and then come back and win lots of money and then live the sort of decadent out of control life style I'd lead if I was like God and shit,” when they read that?

There was little action and a lot of low level muttering and whispering. The two lead characters, Abe and Aaron, get themselves into a situation where multiple copies of themselves are roaming the same earth they are… I think.

This movie spent way too much time explaining a complicated and implausible time transportation concept that no one got anyway — it would have been better to just get on with the sci-fi thriller aspect, and focus on delivering a story that the audience was excited to see the conclusion of.

I still don't understand how this ended the way it did, or why anyone let the writer/director take a lead role, to the detriment of the film. This film needs a second and possibly third viewing, and is excellently made in terms of appearance and style, but is not the sort of film to see at a film festival.

thestudent gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 5 Aug 2005

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