It’s almost as if when you see the name Michael Bay attached to a film in any way, shape or form you know it is going to be a load of schlock. Add in the fact that it is done in the found footage, shaky camera style and you have a film that adds up to a bit of headache.
David Raskin (Jonny Weston – Taken 3, Insurgent) is in his last year of high school and falls into the science geek who can build almost anything category. He has applied to MIT and is thrilled to learn that he has been accepted. The downside is that he has only gotten a scholarship worth $5,000 and as his father died when he was seven his single mother (Amy Landecker – a Serious Man, Enough Said) does not have the money to pay for the rest of his tuition.
Determined to try for another scholarship, David looks through the attic in his house in the hopes of finding something of his also brilliant father’s that will win him the money he needs. While looking around his sister Christina (Virginia Gardner – from television’s The Goldbergs) finds an old video camera of his father’s. They watch a video of his seventh birthday and David is shocked to see a flash of a person that he believes to be himself. How can that be? Looking through his father’s workshop they find blueprints to what they believe to be a time machine. He, Christina, and his friends Quinn (Sam Lerner – from television’s The Goldbergs) and Adam (Allen Evangelista – from television’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager) start building.
Once they have the time travel machine functional they along with cool girl and new friend Jessie (Sofia Black D’Elia – The Immigrant) begin taking trips. At first it is just for the expected things like doing better in school for Quinn or winning the lottery so they can buy cool things or for David to help out his mother with his MIT tuition. Then a seemingly innocent trip back to Lollapalooza changes everything. The friends soon realize that them traveling through time is having ripple effects and some of them are awful.
High school drama with time travel thrown in leads to director Dean Israelite (first feature length film) not really spending enough time or effort on either. It is a watered down version of the two. Then they try to throw in suspense and thriller and it just becomes an even bigger mess. As a result of the lack of focus plot holes start springing up and I began to wonder if they were portals to another time or dimension. That would have made it all worthwhile.
On the other hand the acting from the mostly young cast is good. Good to see from people who are not on many people’s radars. The film won’t make them stars, but does prove that despite flaws in a film they can still do their jobs.