David Raskin, played by Jonny Weston, is an engineering high school genius and MIT hopeful. Told through the lens of a handheld camera that’s passed between alternating characters, “Project Almanac” picks up as Raskin searches for potential scholarship ideas in his late father’s belongings to achieve his higher education dreams.
Raskin and his companions Quinn (Sam Lerner) and Adam (Allen Evangelista) find blueprints to build a time machine and begin the process with Raskin’s sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) there to film it all.
After what seems like minimal trial and error, the group successfully builds and modifies the time machine for ease of use and takes the audience on their “finding perfection” journey.
Jessie, the high school’s token dream girl (Sophia Black-D’Elia), they use the time machine to correct bad grades, bully back the bullies, win the lottery and most importantly, become popular.
A journey that could only be described as a series of bizarre events. When Raskin finally gets the girl, things get unrealistically horrific.
The film then follows as Raskin frantically tries and fails to fix things on his own. He reaches the final conclusion that the only option is to destroy the time machine from the beginning.
In this endeavor, the trusty camera that caught every second of this time traveling journey is left in the past. But fear not, director Dean Israelite kept what viewers both love and hate the most in the film world: the open-ending of Raskin stumbling upon the camera in this new space-time continuum.
Israelite makes the audience aware of Raskin’s genius and that of his counterparts Quinn and Adam in the opening scene.
Lerner plays the immature yet brilliant engineer, who provides most of the comedic relief throughout the film with perfectly timed and executed one-liners. Evangelista plays the intelligent friend, but also the informative character for the audience.
Confused? Raskin will probably explain what’s going on in the next scene, don’t worry.
The actual time-traveling process proves to be the only source of action in this film and the character development leaves the audience wondering, “Are these guys seriously only in high school?”
This film starts off slow and picks up in a way the audience would most expect it, with a sporadic hint of high school romance and several pinches of witty commentary.
The handheld style of filming keeps the audience at unease (or upset stomach as was the case for one author in particular) as this group of high school students gets in way over their heads.
This film answers every 20-something’s question: What if I did something differently when I was in high school? Well, apparently asking that girl to prom or finally talking to that guy would ruin the lives of all your loved ones and send hundreds of innocent people to their imminent deaths.
Moral of the story: don’t get the girl.
Official Trailer: http://www.projectalmanac.com/videos.php