Rental Review - Primer

Primer (2004), PG-13, 77 minutes - Last week after watching Predestination, I was on a bit of a time travel kick and decided to finally watch Primer, a film that I had not only read about but that had been recommended to me on a number of occasions.

Primer is a low budget film from about ten years ago.  Despite its small film status, it handles the science and impact of time travel as well as any other sci-fi film I've seen.  It begins with four programming/engineering friends and their side project that they've been working on in their free time.  They've reached a bit of a roadblock disagree on what direction they should go next.  Aaron (writer/director Shane Carruth) convinces the group to give his idea just a little more time as the project is being stored in his garage.  One night he and Abe (David Sullivan) run some trials and record some strange data.  They begin exploring the results on their own and discover the potential for a time anomaly when a watch is placed in the box.  This leads to their trading hypothetical questions and Abe renting a storage unit on his own in order to build a larger version of their machine.  After running a couple trials by himself, he brings Aaron back into the loop and they both begin testing the larger prototypes.

Now I'm not going to claim to completely understand the science behind the basis of this story.  I also have no idea if it has any theoretic legitimacy.  What I do know is that the way it is explained and handled in the film makes sense.  It also goes on to deal with the potential repercussions of time travel such as the possibility for a paradox, eventually leading to a falling out between Aaron and Abe.

Just as with Predestination, I don't want to get more specific for fear of being spoilery.  If you're into stories about time travel - or maybe more importantly about the theories behind it - Primer is for you  as it's an excellent, thought provoking film.  It is a bit dense though, I'd love to sit down and watch it again in an attempt to better understand just what was going on once Aaron and Abe began repeatedly using their machine.


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