And, of course, there’s time-travel (#SFWApro)

HERO BEYOND THE BOUNDARY OF TIME (1993) is a Hong Kong time travel comedy in which a martial artist comes from the Ching dynasty to the present to find his emperor a prophesied virgin queen, only to get distracted, among other things, by the female lead (you will never guess who the virgin queen turns out to be—wait, you probably will) and time-traveling assassins. Some of the humor is probably lost in translation, but the hero’s willingness to rape the heroine (even though he doesn’t succeed) wouldn’t be funny even if I spoke Chinese. Unusual for having the cross-time lovers settle in the present rather than the past. “I am the perverted but handsome ladykiller.”
Despite it’s cult reputation, DONNIE DARKO (2001) is a god-awful drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a whiny teen—I think he’s supposed to be tragically misunderstood, but that’s not how he comes across—convinced that his supposed hallucinations are actually warnings of doom coming through a wormhole from the future. I was actually surprised his hallucinations of time disruption turned out real enough to qualify for my book; pretentious as Yesterday Was a Lie in its talk of big physics ideas. With Mary McDonnell and Maggie Gyllenhaal as family members, Katharine Ross as a shrink, Drew Barrymore as a teacher and Seth Rogin, Patrick Swayze and Noah Wyle in bit parts.. “But not if everyone’s following along God’s track.”
CUBE2: Hypercube (2002) is another one I didn’t think would qualify, but does, as a tesseract prison confronts struggling escapees with past, future and alternative versions of themselves. More ambitious but less entertaining than Cube; Geraint Wyn Davies plays one of the trappees. “I think this is a reality where things didn’t turn out so well.”
PRIMER (2004) is a low-budget film (even though it’s not found footage it has that look) in which two wannabe inventors discover the gadget they’ve been working in their garage is a time machine. After initially going back to make stock investments, they find themselves tinkering a little further with their past only to have the plot increasingly convoluted (it would double-bill with Back to the Future II)as they start disagreeing on what sort of Great Responsibility should come with their Great Power. This is an interesting, low-key work though the style works again (the cinema verité look is more distracting than enhancing). “I can sleep at night if there’s only one more.”
IN THE NAME OF THE KING 2: Two Worlds (2011) is a sequel to a game-based fantasy and gets into my book by virtue of having martial artist Dolph Lundgren yanked back into the medieval past (or at least the version of it with evil alchemists and dragons) where King Lochlyn Munro sends him to kill an evil sorceress. Only it turns out all is not what it seems … A stock example of Thrilling Adventures in the Past, though I wonder why they set it in the past at all, rather than an alternate world. “So do women actually like hanging out with you, or are you more into the sword-and-sweaty-sandals thing?”
JUSTICE LEAGUE: Flashpoint Paradox (2013) adapts DC’s big crossover event (which led into the New 52 Reboot) for a story in which Barry Allen wakes up to discover Flash doesn’t exist, an Atlantis/Themiscyra war threatens to destroy the world and a guilt-ridden Thomas Wayne is Batman (“It was Bruce who died, wasn’t it?”). So-so—it’s heavy-handed in showing how dark this is (makes me glad I didn’t read much of the original) and the big revelation of the divergence (Flash accidentally caused it by saving his mother) comes off very deus ex (that might have been set up better in the original). A lot of familiar voices including Dana Delaney as Lois, Kevin Conroy as Bats, Nathan Fillion as GL and Ron Pearlman once again Slade Wilson. “Wonder Woman’s lasso made them spill their guts. Literally.”
BATTLE ROYALE HIGH SCHOOL (1987) is a short, mindless martial arts anime in which a cop deals himself into a Clash of Titans between various demons which is triggering some kind of temporal problem. Something I could fit into an appendix in the book without trouble


Filed under Movies, Now and Then We Time Travel

5 responses to “And, of course, there’s time-travel (#SFWApro)

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