Primer (2004)

Primer Movie Review

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Primer Movie Review

Primer is a 2004 science fiction drama film directed by Shane Carruth and starring himself and David Sullivan. It is such a smart, but overall a disappointing film.

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I think my body’s getting used to these 36-hour days

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Primer Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………….

It follows two men who accidentally learn how to time travel. Now, Primer is famous for being one of the smartest science fiction films. And that is most certainly true. However, there lies a problem. In being so incredibly clever and scientific, the film manages to be almost incomprehensible and somewhat unwatchable for the general, non-scientific audience. So, I certainly admired it, but, like almost everybody else, I had a hard time comprehending what was going on. Its plot has its strong points, but most of it is too difficult to understand.

However, what I liked here is most definitely its realism. The film is incredibly realistic not only in its plot, but also in its characters. Aaron and Abe look like real people and are quite realistically portrayed as scientists. I also really liked that they used time travel for obtaining money, basically for an amoral purpose. That I liked a lot as I think most people would do that. The film is realistic, but I felt that the acting could have been better. It is solid and bearable, but it is, like anything else in this movie, quite unprofessional.

Yes, the problem I’ve had with Primer is its cheap look. Now, I definitely understand that it had an incredibly low budget and I respect them for making such an ambitious movie and a sci-fi one, no less, on such a small budget. But this is still one of the rare examples where its indie sensibilities bothered me as it looked way too cheap and unprofessional in some areas. The cinematography is subpar and it is the worst aspect in the entire film. The acting is also nothing to write home about and the film is visually so mediocre.

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Primer Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………….

Primer is ambitious in its storytelling, but it isn’t in its execution. Also, I found its restraint to go into thriller territory quite bothersome. Usually I dislike thriller and like more of a dramatic approach. However, here it would have benefited from more thrilling aspects to it and the fact that the film stayed basically on just dramatic territory frustrated me.

I liked its concept quite a bit. It was difficult to understand, but it is most certainly admirable and very, very original as I have never seen anything quite like it in terms of time travel stories. I liked the time travel quite a bit here, but I wanted more of a momentum not only in terms of character development, but also in terms of emotion and drama as well. It is well directed and well paced, but it could have been longer and it should have been much better realized and explained. The ending also kind of disappointed me and the fact that the film refused to go into more of a sci-fi territory and at least some effects-driven scenes was quite frustrating to me. But I still found its plot to be unique and interesting enough to recommend to fans of hard sci-fi. It is an okay film, but still not my cup of tea.

Primer is an okay film with an impressive concept to it which is quite original and unique and it is also incredibly realistic as well, but its characters are not as well realized, the acting is subpar as is the cinematography and the movie is too smart for its own sake leading to an almost incomprehensible experience. This is the kind of movie that I definitely respect, but I’m frankly not a big fan of.

My Rating – 3

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Posted in 2000s, 2004, Drama, FILM DECADES, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , .

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