Run Run Away

Earth is being attacked and time is running out. Isn't it obvious that the thing to do is jump into the past to get more time to deal with the situation, right?

Back in the 1990s, government scientists find this escape pod, with technology they don't understand - that never happens with government scientists in movies. Military type sweep in and clamp down on the operation, something that never happens as well. Somehow it takes several minutes for the top dude to majestically stroll from the helicopter to Rae Dawn Chong (apparently our lead scientist) while the patriotic soundtrack leans deep into our skulls. Their subsequent encounter is anticlimactic, but sets up the conflict for most of the film.

The lead is Mark Hamill, our man from the future. He experiences inexplicable visions of things in the near future that he couldn't be seeing - I'm not sure what kind of sense this is supposed to make, especially as people can experience these visions with him. Perhaps our protagonist needed to be more special than just being from the future would suggest.

Sci-fi on the cheap is rarely good, unless there's some new imaginative angle being explored. When I say cheap here, it's not that there was no budget, it's that the budget was clearly low for what they were trying to pull off. What we have here is an attempt at a gritty, noirish tale of good guys and bad guys who are mainly distinguished by whether they want to destroy the Earth. The characters talk like badasses, but fail to show any real connection to what's going on around them. It's not so much the bad acting, but the unthoughtful script that leaves the actors no choice but to go over the top.

Now, to harp on a bit about my own personal pet peeve about time travel films. The treatment of causality doesn't make sense. We occasionally pop in to the future to see how the battle is going, as if to imply these are happening in parallel. Sure, it's a parallel story line, but this treatment places story mechanics over logic, as these events are not, and cannot, be happening at the same time. This cross cutting implies that the future can witness changes unfold in their reality as the past is changed. To put it another way, if the past was changed, thoses changes already happened then, and those characters in the future are already living in a world that reflects those changes.

There's nothing really to redeem this film. It's just bad, bad, bad.

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