“You have to kill Hitler, OK? That’s like Time Travel 101,” urges the Nerdy Funny One in this exhilarating, frenetic, well-conceived adventure. The fact that the group of immensely likeable teenagers instead embarks on a series of “what would you do?” escapades which include using prior knowledge to win the lottery and combatting school bullies is excusable simply because they make it look so much fun.
The handsome, token-bespectacled hero is David Ruskin (Jonny Weston – you’ll be seeing him soon in Insurgent), a physics whiz who dreams of studying at MIT. Backed by his smart friends and devoted camerawoman sister, David stumbles upon a family secret which harnesses immense power. But can the kids use it responsibly?
Shot with handheld cameras to evoke found footage, the film will teach its young adult audience a whole lot about the male gaze but little about feminist theory. High school romance clichés abound, but are then refreshed by the Groundhog Day touch. Even when a narrative thread comes loose and the writers keep tugging at it, Project Almanac provides laughs out loud and never stops being a total blast.