Screen Media Films
Reviewed by: Harvey Karten
Director: Diego Hallivi
Screenwriter: Brian DeLeeuw
Cast: Lyndsy Fonseca, Alex Lanipekun, Glenn Morshower, Linda Hamilton, Noah Bean
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 1/17/18
Opens: February 23, 2018
The use of time travel by movies is old hat. Any new sci-fi tale using the hackneyed jargon is bound to be looked on as derivative and therefore without much entertainment value. On the one hand we’ve got high box-office dramas like the “Terminator” series, and the more cerebral comic episodes of “Back to the Future.” On the other hand you have films with genuine entertainment value for adults like “Brigadoon” and perhaps the best of all, “Groundhog Day.”
“Curvature” travels somewhere between the two extremes. It involves time travel all right, though the actual experiments showing people zooming into the past and future are downplayed. The performers are fine, principally Lyndsy Fonesca’s in the role of Helen, present in most of the scenes, as is the execution of his part by Zack Avery as Alex, a friend of Helen working with her in the robotics industry.
However something seems to be amiss with Brian DeLeeuw’s script. Connections between Helen in the present and her dopplegänger in the past are cloudy. It’s never clear just how Helen, having traveled in time to stop herself from a revenge killing Tomas (Glenn Morshower) the murderer and research partner of her husband, has two separate beings. It’s bizarre enough to hear Helen answering her phone to hear herself give warnings about a BMW whose occupants mean her harm, but despite Diego Hallivi’s direction, the plot falters into incomprehensibility because of a confused screenplay.
As for the ethical dilemma that caused Wells (Noah Bean), her husband, to seek the end of experimentation with the time machine, that is anybody’s guess. One wonders why Wells would want to conclude the research while his partner, who accuses Wells of being self-righteous, wants to continue. The film could have been improved by an out-and-out understandable discussion of contemporary ethics.
The director’s only other feature film, “The Duel,” is more realistic, focusing on a man and his mother who move to a new city to start over.
Unrated. 89 minutes. © 2018 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – C
Acting – B-
Technical – C+
Overall – C+