Sunday, January 19, 2014

Primer (2004)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (7.0).
You can tell this film was written by an engineer.  These aren't characters, they're biological plot point initiation units.
— "Brows Held High: Primer", Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren

I wanted to like this film; I really did.  It's generally smart on science and it does a good job with its shoestring-budget cinematography.  Yet it's bad at everything else: the narration is dull, the plot is presented in a deliberately obfuscated manner but isn't rewarding enough to piece together, the actors have no inflection and inaudibly mumble their lines, and we're supposed to accept that the main characters have the emotional maturity of 15-year-olds (despite being 30-ish and living dull-but-successful lives).  In some ways Primer reminds me of Pi (1998), but I felt Pi as a film was noticeably superior.  I can't really bring myself to say that Primer was a waste of time, though.  I chalk it up as a noble but failed experiment that's probably worth seeing once.  Score: 2 stars out of 4.

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