Saturday, December 6, 2014

95ers: Time Runners: Original and Entertaining

Just saw 95ers: Time Runners (aka 95ers: Echoes), a 2013 movie, on Amazon Prime.   Although the beginning was a little light and zany to the point of being distracting, the movie settled into a quite excellent time-travel movie.   For me, the essential ingredient in any worthwhile time travel story is that it take the paradoxes of time travel seriously - logically, consistently, ambitiously in terms of the reach of the paradoxes and what the characters must do to circumvent or otherwise work with the paradoxes to achieve their own ends.   And this 95ers: Time Runners does quiet well and entertainingly.

Among the high-points and most originally developed facets of this contemporary/distant-future story on Earth - near Annapolis (by Route 95, hence the title), to be precise - we have
  • debris from events altered by time travelers showing up in the new timelines created - figuratively and literally grains of salt from a salt shaker that lost its cap in an original reality but did not in a new, corrected reality
  • time travel not to dates but events, which allows the time traveler to get not only whenever but wherever she or he needs to go
  • events being more or less difficult to change, because they have more or less "gravity" attached to them (nice play on the word gravity and its meaning in physics and in human relations)
  • certain people - in this story, the heroine, in particular - who have the ability to rewind time and change events, because they were born as a part of a "seventh paradox," that is, at moment in which there was a notable rift in time and space caused by whatever/whomever
In addition, 95ers: Time Runners, has many of the usual touches of sophisticated time travel stories, such as characters being much more intimately related to one another than at first we were given to suppose, and the same character appearing at different times of her life as what seem to be different characters but are not, and characters savvy in the ways of time travel doing their best to tip-toe around paradox, such as not letting themselves be seen by earlier versions of themselves as they time travel.    These elements have been seen before, but this movie does them smartly, and manages to mix in references to traditional time travel stories like Dickens' Christmas Carol and Wells' The Time Machine and its musing about mathematical lines.   I even thought I saw someone who looked like Stephen Hawking in a cartoon-drawing quickly displayed at one point in the movie.   Touches like this make up, for me, for the deliberately cartoonish quality of much of the acting.

All in all, a fine, provocative, satisfying little movie - written by Thomas and James Durham, directed by Thomas - well worth watching if time travel is your cuppa, as it is mine.   The movie ends with a strong nod to a sequel, which I hope there is.   The tone and style of 95ers reminds me of Trancers, which I loved, and which had umpteen sequels, the first bunch of which were quite good.

Other reviews of off-the-beaten-track recent time travel movies: Dimensions: Watercolor Time Travel and I'll Follow You Down: Excellent Time Travel Movie

more time travel


And The Chronology Protection Case movie

podcast review of 95ers and two other time travel movies
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