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Rental Review: Timecrimes

June 11, 2009


Time travel movies are always overly complex and confusing, right? Either that, or they eschew any attempt to make sense at all. Timecrimes (or Los Cronocrimines, if you want to be technical) is neither of these.

Hector and his wife Carla are getting settled in their new home. No one knows their phone number, but they get a strange call. Hector sits in the back yard, birdwatching with his binoculars, when he catches a glimpse of a woman taking her clothes off. Carla leaves for town, and Hector runs off to investigate the nudity in the woods. Finding the young woman naked and seemingly dead, Hector is assaulted and stabbed in the arm by a man whose face is wrapped in bandages. This sets off a chain of events that result in Hector being sent back in time about an hour, and finding that he also has the opportunity to prevent a horrible crime from taking place.

The beauty of Timecrimes is that, despite having a very complex plot, it is very easy to follow, and, for a time travel movie, it’s very consistent. As you see more of the plot unfold, it becomes clear why some things happened the way they did.

It’s a well-done movie and it doesn’t get in to technobabble or over-the-top special effects. The plot itself is central to the movie, to the point that several of the characters do not even have names – a pretty major thing when the cast only has 4 or 5 characters.

I understand now that Timecrimes is being remade for the US and is slated to be released in 2011. I’m almost dreading it because the English-dubbed version I saw was damn near perfect, and I shudder at the thought of what kind of results we’ll see once Hollywood gets hold of this.

Check out the original version. It’s Instantly Watchable on Netflix or available on DVD. Definitely well worth the time, even if you can’t rewind your life an hour or two afterwards.

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