REVIEW: NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK
NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK: Really wanted to like this one. You know, #blacklove and such. Truth is, the story dragged, so... I was bored. I expected more from John Ridley. But often, this happens when novels are adapted for the screen. So, here we are: A lesson in structure and pacing. #SpoilerAlert
The inciting incident came 40 minutes into the film. FORTY MINUTES. It took 40 minutes to set up that our protagonist really loved his wife, had an insecurity about her relationship with her ex/his former best friend, and the rules of the world (though done very poorly). Because of this, the film slowed to a snail's pace for a half hour. By the time we should be well into the action of Act Two, we're resetting the normal with his new/old wife. Then, we drag again.
The rules are a bit hard to follow:
--What is a time shift (possibility of losing memory) vs a time phase (losing memory and jumping to another timeline)?
--Everyone is hit with a time shift? But only some people phase? Why?
--After the phase, people gradually lose their memories while the people of their new timeline have no knowledge of the phase? Trying to understand why Nick's new wife wouldn't know why he's acting strange if shifting and phasing exists in this world.
--Why does Nick remember post-phase but Janine doesn't?
--Why does Nick remember about his sister's BFF but doesn't remember Pass Protect or Janine? Why does Alex know about his sister's BFF if she wasn't in Nick's timeline at that point?
--It seems like even after changing his timeline again, he remembers everything. WHAT'RE THE RULES?
The directing and editing choices are beautiful. Cynthia is great. She's far more authentic and interesting on screen when she doesn't have to focus on an American accent. Leslie, though vulnerable and likable on screen, plays a man so obsessed with the past that he wishes it true then becomes depressed because of it. That's frustrating for the viewer. And there wasn't enough love past the first 40 minutes to sustain our investment in his relationship with his first wife.
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