Safety Not Guaranteed (Full Version)

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Empire Admin -> Safety Not Guaranteed (27/12/2012 4:45:51 PM)

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R W -> Safety Not Guaranteed (27/12/2012 4:45:51 PM)

For this Christmas, I was given the Back to the Future trilogy on Blu-ray as a Christmas present which was delightful as not only is it one of the best film trilogies ever, but the first one certainly is one of, if not, the best time travel flick of all time. As the concept of time travel is still very fascinating, has there been a film in which this conceit is not entirely central? As 2012 comes to an end, Colin Trevorrow’s terrific indie debut answers that very question.

When one of Seattle magazine’s writers Jeff (Jake Johnson) wants to investigate the source behind a newspaper classified ad about a partner to go back in time with, Jeff and two interns including the disillusioned Darius (Aubrey Plaza) head to Ocean View to find the mysterious figure. When Darius discovers that the person behind the ad is Kenneth Calloway (Mark Duplass), a stock clerk at a local grocery store, the two develop a strong partnership while the question is asked whether he can time travel or not.

While Looper was the standout sci-fi of the year, Safety Not Guaranteed is for the most part not interested in exploring this expected genre aspect although there are questions that are cleverly presented throughout. Derek Connolly’s debut screenplay is more interested about the relationship between the unsociable Darius and the mad genius (or not) Kenneth, both of which have had troubled pasts and despite his upcoming classified mission, their bond alone is funny and touching. To support the main theme of the central story, there is a nice subplot involving the sleazy Jeff, who just wants to drink and get laid, rekindles a former flame, which allows him to rethink about his life at the moment.

With Connolly’s smart and witty dialogue, as well as gags that humorously discuss Star Wars which somewhat echoes the “independent contractors” speech from Clerks, director Colin Trevorrow balances the piece from being too sentimental or melancholic, whilst applying both fun and ambition towards his characters. Without giving anything away, the climax is quite the leap of faith and could’ve ruined the overall tone, but due to the engagement of the two leads, it’s really uplifting. Despite her mopey expressions and her issue-ridden supporting role from Scott Pilgrim, Aubrey Plaza is truly likeable as the lead who sees herself as an over-qualifier but not really doing anything. Playing a slightly off-kilter individual, Plaza carries the whole film while her chemistry with Mark Duplass who is neither likable nor scary, is sweet and funny.

Made for less than a million and a rather outlandish premise for an indie dramedy, Safety Not Guaranteed is a touching oddball sci-fi with great performances by Plaza and Duplass. We know the director has ruled himself out of directing Star Wars Episode VII, but his remake of Flight of the Navigator will be something.

norgizfox -> Safety Not Guaranteed (20/2/2013 3:52:20 AM)

Safety Not Guaranteed breaks all of the genre rules and doesn't look back. Odd, hilarious, touching, and incredibly indie, this is a great career breakthrough for Plaza, and possibly the best time-travel movie since Back to the Future.

morphie -> Entertainment Guaranteed (7/7/2013 7:47:23 AM)

Cheesy title I know, couldn't think of anything witty and original! I absolutely adored this movie. It had such an innocent charm to it and you actually felt something for the characters. Whichever way it was going to end - either he really is mad or he's a genius - I didn't care I just didn't want it to end. The charm of the final reveal gave me a cheesy grin I couldn't wipe off for days. I would love to go back in time to watch it for the first time again, and again, and again...

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