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This is perhaps one of the best movies about Time Travel ever made. It's so smart and yet, so silly, it's wonderful.
A bunch of high-schoolers are members of the local Sci-Fi club and goofing around on a hot summer day. After a game of Baseball, they get back to the house where the club is located and they find what looks like a time machine inside the room. Thinking at first that it's a hoax someone is playing on them (they are very geeky, and it's the Sci-Fi Club after all, so they get picked on a lot) , they try it just for fun. A flash of light ensues and the machine and the kid joking around on it suddenly disappear, only to reappear a few moments later. It's a real time machine. Brainstorming about the endless possibilities, the dorks come up with nothing more than traveling back in time to get their hands on the remote control for their air conditioning unit which had broken down the day before. It's such a hot summer day, and they hate not having their air conditioning anymore: the stupid manufacturer didn't even put any switch on the actual unit! Getting that remote from back in time becomes all they can think about. Makes perfect sense! What follows is a succession of mistakes and trying to fix things as the space time continuum is disturbed and time paradoxes start to pop up. Can they fix the very fabric of space time before the entire universe vanishes?
This is such a fun film that has no pretension whatsoever. It's witty as hell, and played by a great ensemble cast in what is foremost a high-school comedy which just happens to feature a twist around time travel. Following the adventures of this goofy, dorky and geeky posse is nothing else but pure delight. It's also very well done with great cinematography and sound. Time travel just feels so fresh, and the editing back and forth between the multiple timelines never feels confusing. You just have to pay attention because there are so many time loops that things happen in the movie chronologically, even though our guys have already started to meddle with their past, which is our present. It's very clever with an airtight story line.
This is based on a play written and performed by those same kids which apparently was very successful in the Japanese equivalent of Off-Broadway. However the film version is so dynamic and rich you'd never think it came from a play.
I watched this movie one evening, and loved the movie so much that i watched it again 2 days later with my kids who thought it was really cool. I had to explain to them the ins and outs of time travel, but the story around those kids and the various gags were plenty enough already to keep them interested. Highly recommended if you can find it. I bet you have never seen a science fiction movie, or a comedy, like that. It's Japanese humor at its light-hearted and authentic best. It reminded me in spirit of Swing Girls (2004).
- Laurent Hasson