Wednesday, July 12, 2017

When Brits Go Back to The Future, or Thoughts on Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel

An often brilliant, very clever parody about time paradoxes (see what I did there), Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009) takes all the tropes and conventions of the time travel genre and distills them into a circular night out with three nerdy mates at their local pub.  Chris O’Dowd, who will always be Roy from The IT Crowd to me is Ray, meets Anna Faris as Cassie, a time agent with an American accent because in the future, everyone is American (that’s a quote from the film).  Cassie has gone back in time to mend a time leak in the gent’s loo (get it?), and when things get out of hand they have to run through alternate futures while avoiding their alternate selves, in addition to the giant ants and rogue time agents.
The genius of the film, and of time travel movies in general, is that it all takes place in the same location, in this case a pub that is reminiscent of The Winchester in Shaun of the Dead (2004).  By now it seems tired to reference sci-fi and horror britcoms to that particular movie, but the film is light hearted and funnier than you would expect.  Anna Faris, arguably most remembered as Cindy from the Scary Movie franchise, has a goofy Christina Ricci vibe that compliments Chris O’Dowd’s usual nice-guy nerd.  They make a cute couple, and they have fourteen hours to save the world (a Flash Gordon reference, and another quote from the movie).

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