Primer is one of the movies my friends said I had to see, it’d be right up my alley. OK, fine, I understood the physics and didn’t have trouble following the timelines, so I guess it wasn’t a bad fit for me to watch. If you read physics for a hobby you won’t be confused by Feynman diagrams and if you do any recursive functional programming, a little time travel inside some time travel isn’t a mind bender. But it seems that not being confused by the story leaves me in the atypical position of seeing that there’s really not much else there. Yeah, a few themes about ethics and greed, but so little to carry it on.
I’ve heard it said that if you confuse a Hollywood critic, he’ll rave about your film as being deep and cerebral because he doesn’t want to look like an idiot. And apparently this film won a big award at Sundance.
If I had to guess, I’d bet the whole thing is a stunt meant to prove that rule. The stylized camera angles, the argumentative characters, the push-processed film (or was that a filter in post?) – the whole thing is a recipe for a practical joke of epic proportions. Kudos guys, you punked the establishment. They’re gonna want to find that U-Haul center and fix this problem.
While I appreciate the sentiment I plunked down two stars on Netflix so the recommendation engine doesn’t put more similar movies in my list. One was enough. I’ll add it to the “I can’t believe you people rave about this” list with Fight Club and Inception. If you want to see a time travel movie with interdependent timelines that is also a fun movie, check out 12 Monkeys, Donnie Darko, or Frequency.