Timecrimes (Spain, 2007)

22_timecrimesDirected by: Nacho Vigalondo. First thing’s last—the director’s name is Nacho. Major points in my book, although I think he could have splurged for a supporting actor instead of putting himself in the nerdy scientist role. Besides that, though, I can honestly say that this was one of the most thrilling and intriguing movies I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s simple, tight, concise, and yet completely elaborate and intellectual. It’s like a brainy action movie (if that description didn’t sound awful). If you’re interested in time travel like I am, you’ll love this movie. Anyone who’s seen Primer will enjoy the utter minimalism of this film. It has a total cast of four (plus one body double), and it all takes place over roughly one hour (and then the same hour, and then the same hour…). The first 40 minutes or so is basically a horror/mystery, up until the actual time travel itself. From there, the film gets really interesting, meditating on free will, chance, etc, like some great time travel stories do, all the while thrusting the plot forward like a great thriller. The almost inevitable second viewing (for fun, not necessity) reveals a couple of premise flaws perhaps, as well as some appreciation of some hidden plot elements that went unnoticed the first time around. Some less gullible viewers than myself might be able to see everything coming from ten miles away, but it’s still a highly entertaining 90 minutes, and unlike Primer, you can actually understand it.

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