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An Outrageously Implausible Tale Done To Perfection Marks "Time After Time" A Personal Favorite
on December 7, 2006
It has been a while since I've reviewed something on my lifelong favorite's list. So I've chosen "Time After Time" because it isn't very well known by younger audiences nor is it necessarily considered a "classic."
However, I instantly fell in love with this movie over 25 years ago--and I still consider it a rip-roaring good time!
Starting out with the most bizarre plot ever, "Time After Time" will keep you enthralled. It is a glorious popcorn flick--fast, light, fun, and exciting in equal measures. Set in 1893, we meet H. G. Wells (Malcolm MacDowell) who is unknowingly friends with Jack The Ripper (David Warner). MacDowell has constructed a time machine which Warner misappropriates as he is fleeing the authorities. He travels to modern day San Francisco where he continues his murderous ways. MacDowell follows him, he must stop Jack The Ripper! He meets up with a local woman, Mary Steenburgen, who helps him adjusts and ultimately gets caught up in his unlikely story.
"Time After Time" succeeds in several different genres concurrently. This is a credible sci-fi pic, a sweet romance, a fish out of water comedy, as well as a decent serial killer thriller. I think that's what I love and respect about this film, it's out there. There is no way that this picture should work, it should be terrible. And yet, inexplicably, Nicholas Meyer has crafted an intricate and audacious work. Even if I didn't love this movie, I would respect its ambition and scope. But love it I do, this is one of the most wildly entertaining pictures you could hope to see. Some people might be tempted to dismiss this work as dated or even slight--and yes, you do have to accept that this is a product of the 70's. There are references to "free love" and other concepts of the era, but at the same time--the film is incredibly prescient about violence in the modern age. Every time Warner describes how he was meant to exist in this future, where killings and debauchery are commonplace, I understand a real truth in his sentiment.
The performances are cracking good. MacDowell is the unlikeliest hero and a refreshing romantic lead. Warner has NEVER NEVER been better. If you are even a passing fan of his, you must see this picture. And Mary Steenburgen is a delight--she doesn't do enough these days! Maybe this isn't highbrow entertainment, but it is dazzling fun. Recommended to all without even the slightest hesitation. KGHarris, 12/06.