Review by James Lindorf
Curvature, the first solo directing job for Diego Hallivis, is a Sci-Fi thriller set to make its theatrical and VOD premiere on February 23rd. It stars Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick-Ass, The Ward and Agent Carter) as Helen, a grief-stricken scientist who must break into a top-secret facility in order to travel back in time and prevent a murder after receiving a mysterious phone call from herself. The movie features a strong supporting cast, with Glenn Morshower (24) as Tomas, her husband’s research partner, Zach Avery (Fury) as best friend, Alex, and Sci-Fi icon Linda Hamilton as her mentor, Florence.
Despite its official synopsis, this movie is less about time travel and more about processing grief and moving on after the death of a loved one. Helen, a widow, is slowly trying to piece her world back together. It has been a month since the death of her husband and Helen is getting back to work, even if she can’t bring herself to sleep in their bedroom just yet. The emotional backbone of the movie is in the scenes with Helen and Alex, where the two discuss the anger, guilt, and sadness that accompanies a loss. The way the two go back and forth discussing their experiences can be moving and thought-provoking. The best elements of the film are those scenes and when it asks the question, if you could travel back in time, would you go looking for justice or vengeance? The film’s action scenes are another strength. They are kept simple to fit in the limited budget. They are well-choreographed and well shot. The chase scenes are exciting and varied, but ultimately reach a lackluster conclusion.
I think this is a good movie, but it is a few crucial steps away from being a great one. One of its flaws is that Brian DeLeeuw is the sole writing credit. Not to say that he did a poor job, but he is inexperienced and the film lacks the polish that the second set of eyes could have provided. Too many chase scenes end in one person spinning around and looking lost. Once or twice would have been fine, but it is how every chase in the film ends. However, the biggest flaw is what Hallivis and DeLeeuw think represents intelligence in the characters, but it leaves the audience feeling confused. There are too many instances where we are not shown something, not told about it, but instead, we see a character thinking and then carrying out an action that seems obvious to them without any reasoning. Helen, the main character, is shown in all but a few scenes and there are several times we are left to guess at her motivation. DeLeeuw did make the smart decision to not go into great scientific detail about time travel or any of the other sciences featured in the movie. The film doesn’t have to slog through the details or become laughable in the inaccuracies. The characters have to carry a lot of emotional weight throughout the movie, and Fonseca and Avery are only serviceable actors. They are capable of pumping a lot of emotion into their performances at times, but come off disappointingly flat in others. Better actors or more consistent performances from the actors would have helped the film make a giant stride toward greatness.
Despite its flaws, there is something about the film that has stuck with me. I think it is because I find it so frustrating. It contains elements of both a great and bad movie. It floated back and forth between the two leaving me feeling teased by its potential. Making a movie that sticks with its viewers is not an easy task, especially in a world where we are bombarded by a 24-hour news and media cycle. I suggest that on the 23rd you take a chance and see if Curvature will stick with you.