A bunch of suburban American teens discover a time-travel device stashed in a basement and get up to mildly naughty shenanigans; you’ll wish you could time travel too, to a moment when jiggle-cam cinematography (the sort that’s ‘shot’ by the characters themselves) felt fresh.
David (Jonny Weston) is a nerd who can’t speak to girls. We know this because the script tells us, never mind the actor’s model-handsome face. He gets into a top university, but not all the scholarship money comes through, leading to frustration. Rooting around his late scientist dad’s attic for ideas, he and sister Christina (Virginia Gardner) discover a video camera, then a hatch to a cellar, where a metal case holds the secret to jumps in time.
You won’t find any smarts in the plotting, and a craftier storyteller than debuting feature director Dean Israelite would have turned the constant millennial self-absorption (let’s use the device to get backstage festival passes!) into a joke. Instead, the story hangs on first kisses, high-school popularity and winning the lottery – then, suddenly turning serious, a car accident. The partying is tame, and there’s a cheap feeling to everything on screen. ‘Back to the Future’ was only 30 years ago; some of us don’t need a time machine to remember it.