CAPSULE: A woman wakes up in bed and realizes that a recent chunk of her life, the time since she went to bed, is now missing. Then she discovers through the magic of time travel that she had killed someone--and really that is not like her--and since then has been trying to send messages through time to stop herself from committing the murder. Mexican filmmaker Diego Hallivis directs his second film after GAME TIME. The story is not really new, but it has enough science fiction to satisfy viewers tired of superheroes. Much of this story is a somewhat humdrum chase that does not really need the science fiction element. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10
While some people hear "science fiction" and think "STAR WARS battle", CURVATURE shows how to make a decent science fiction film on a mid-range budget like science fiction films were in the old days. Familiar actors in the film are Linda Hamilton of the "Terminator" series and Lyndsy Fonseca of KICK-ASS.
Helen (played by Lyndsy Fonseca) is still in mourning for her recently deceased husband. They were working together on a time travel machine and having some success. Then when the device was almost finished her husband committed suicide. Helen considers
continuing working alone. Then her life gets another shock. She gets a mysterious phone call from--no, not her husband--but from her herself. She finds out that she has been unconscious for several days. Now she is getting these phone calls apparently from herself. But it is a younger version of herself who is placing these calls from the days she was conked out. The younger version of herself committed murder while Helen was unconscious and now the older earlier version of herself is trying to prevent the nastiness from happening. Are you confused? Good. Good science fiction may do that. CURVATURE could use a little more of that sort of confusion.
There are a few cute touches in the script that I felt pulled me right out of the movie. In this film about a time machine Helen's dead husband is named Wells. Elsewhere is a character named Griffin (as in THE INVISIBLE MAN, but also may be a nod to film editor Joel Griffen). But somehow the plot does not feel very Wellsian.
As happens all too commonly with the current political correctness policy, from the first frame in which we see the villain we know he is going to be the villain. He is just the right demographic to be a bad guy. One more problem: the twists in the plot telegraph themselves.
CURVATURE has chase scenes that it would well have done without or with less. In general in a film chase the characters may be moving fast, but the plot is standing still. One way the writing is unusual is the discussion of an after-life. Most United States science fiction films steer clear of religious discussion.
CURVATURE is an uneven piece of science fiction with a few predictable touches and a few ideas that come as surprises. I rate it a high +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10. I failed to notice any place where the story involves curvature of anything.
Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4720596/reference
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/curvature
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2018 Mark R. Leeper