Aug 18, 2010


The leering cover art is what initially grasped me by the collar; a bandaged messianic figure with a haggard trench coat wielding scissors with malicious intent. Sounds almost like a film based on the Clock Tower video game series, doesn't it? Rather than attempting horror, Timecrimes takes the jet-set path to science fiction bludgeoning 12 Monkeys and Timecop into the same hypothesis. While this may sound like a convoluted mess that's hard to distinguish the thematic moral of the story; save the lady or save the world, Hector is the star of an easy to understand time travel movie. A better way to put it is that Timecrimes is an intelligent and engaging film equipped with training wheels. It's a nice departure from being primo mindfuck as I like to mix-match the intellectual trials with the devious entertainment so Timecrimes came as a surprise to me, one that does become slightly frustrating as we watch Hector 3 or 2 replay the same scene from a different vantage.

After I received this film from America's favorite courier service, Netflix, I procrastinated immensely with this film as I didn't see myself fit to sit and stare at a television screen perplexed in what I would consider the most stressful week of my hardly progressed life. I tried over and over to become absorbed in the film and ended up just putting it on pause at an estimated 9 minutes in. The one day I found time to sit and watch this film uninterrupted I discovered that once you reach 10 minutes in, the film ejects itself from the prepositioning phase into a wild world of an unexplainable nude woman and a mysterious bandaged man who loves to stab incarnations of himself which presents itself as the most painful distraction to be presented in time travel cinema. Poor Hector, who knows how long he's been living in this Groundhog Day hell on earth.

Not to bring any spoilers upon you, the nude woman is perhaps one of the better scenes in the film. Not for continuity or presentation, but for the actress's incredible body. Every time she appeared on screen, which was often, I got shivers down my spine. I had no idea that a Spanish dame could be so attractive. Timecrimes gets points for both having someone fill the once empty "useless chick" role but also turning that position into something that becomes a martyr for the murderous instincts lurking deep within one of Hector's personalities . . . or all of them. The bandaged saint and his laboratory accomplice reincarnate themselves as leading roles instead of supporting characters which enhances the swift kick into the genitals that occurs nearing the finale of this never-ending cycle of epochal torture.

Timecrimes is a film that is innocently simple enough for the childlike film goer whose expectations match explosions and swiftly thrown curse words. This momentous occasion in which a film revolving about an intricate plot and repeating consequence that is simple enough for a toddler to understand is why Timecrimes should be essential viewing for those who haven't been implemented the teachings of finer cinema. Not much to say about this film other than it's required viewing of the impartial genre that is composed of the underdeveloped and under-appreciated niche entitled Spanish cinema e.g. Killing Words. Timecrimes is a textbook science-fiction thriller that does just about everything right and in the end, it's simplicity manages to kill the arthouse feel but resuscitates that acclaimed ongoing personal melancholy with its vibrant and lush wooded setting. An environmental surprise that reeks of talent and misery, Timecrimes did not disappoint me for even a minute. Just goes to show that even the most civil of men house a "dark passenger."


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