Safety Not Guaranteed

If you don’t like sci-fi, don’t be put off by the sci-fi pigeon hole – it’s a bit inaccurate. There may be talk of going back in time, but that’s actually what it is – talk.

While not actually time traveling in the fantastical sense, we follow local paper journalist Jeff (Jake Johnson) who’s got a tattooed smirk and probably a few restraining orders with some local women. Jeff signs-up two grim-faced interns – the gawky Arnau and the doe-eyed, greasy-haired Darius (or as Jeff calls them – ‘the Indian and the lesbian’ (who’s not a lesbian despite the androgynous name).

It’s an all-encompassing, slightly zany film which plods along a journey with a bleak outlook but a warm heart.

In desperation for a new story, the unlikely trio follow up a newspaper ad appealing for a sidekick for a time traveling mission. Dismissing the ad as a nut job‘s handiwork but game for a venture away from their vanilla lives, they investigate the story each with their own personal objective. Darius wants to emancipate herself from replacing toilet rolls in the staff loos as well as shyly revisiting a painful chapter in her life story.

As for Jeff (yes, that guy from New Girl), he wants to re-visit his past to flex the company’s credit card and look up an ex-girlfriend who’s he’s been having wet dreams about since he left high school. If he doesn’t get laid, however, he’s going to do his darndest to get his reluctant Indian friend to pop his popadum.

The ‘time traveler’ in question soon manifests himself as the middle-aged Kenneth (Mark Duplass) who’s read too much Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and probably got an A* in science and design technology. After sizing up Darius, they soon become make-shift time bandits in training and prepare for a mission that plays out like it was nicked from the Red Dwarf skip.

Its blunt wit will engage the bobble-hatted among us but don’t expect a laugh a minute kooky ride through this flick that flirts with the fantastical. It’s an all-encompassing, slightly zany film which plods along a journey with a bleak outlook but a warm heart. The sub text? Be mindful of memories that may be painted in the wrong colour rouge – if you go digging, you might unearth some wiggly worms.


Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Derek Connolly
Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson
Released: 26th Dec 2012

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