Paradox’s are a bitch, and the glaring one in this quality made film, but utterly pointless one, make watching the film frustrating and pointless since none of what is happening would could have possibly happened in the first place.
And to get technical for a moment people reference the predestination paradox when discussing this film, and this paradox has been used in other films and worked for me, but for whatever reason, since the whole film was built around this idea possibly, I just couldn’t convince myself to let this gross error go and found little enjoyment at the futility of the film. In short, I don’t recommend this film, but if you are interested it is well made but just makes no sense; in the frustrating way.
Hector and his wife are just settling in to their new home when Hector decides to take a break and lounge in his chair overlooking the wilderness behind his home. Perusing with binoculars, he sees something out in the woods and with further investigation sees a woman undressing and after a brief interruption from his wife, decides to head up into the woods to figure out what was happening. Hector soon discovers the girl, seemingly dead and in the nude only to be stabbed from behind by a man he later discovers to be bandaged around his head, and he chases Hector up to a research facility and into a silo with a strange pool being manned by a lab tech who has been guiding Hector away from the bandaged man. Hector gets in and the man closes the tank, only to re-open a few hours earlier surprising the young man who had just told him to get in the tank, now in the past.
We then soon find out that Hector finds out that he is in fact the bandaged man and purposely starts re-enacting everything he saw to make sure that his past self goes up to the time machine again to go back. Hence the paradox, Hector would have never gone up to the silo in the first place since the only reason he went up there is because his future self set the events in motion that made him head up there in the first place, which could not happen since Hector has never gone back and time so his future self can’t exist to make him go back in time. Confused yet, well it doesn’t matter because it is all ludicrous, and this is without even adding in the element that the bandaged Hector is only in the position he is in because the bandaged Hector goes back and puts him in position to do what he does, just preposterous.
*end of spoilers*
Regardless of the plot, the film is well done. Nacho Vigalondo does a fine job at making the most out of this modestly made film, with some cool shots and eerie tension in the early goings. The plot twists and turns are actually somewhat clever as well, but again, since none of this could happen in the first place it really doesn’t have that much of an effect on you. The pacing and tone of the film also works well and probably would have worked even better if I could have gotten fully into it. The film is also littered with some decent bits of humor as well, that again probably would have gone over better if it wasn’t for my frustrations with the plot. Though, the sacrificial nature of Bárbara Goenaga’s character was senseless and completely uncalled for and unjustified, which I guess is supposed to be shocking but again, ref. frustrations.
The work by Karra Elejalde who plays Hector is fairly solid though, but his work can’t hold together the plot, obviously as it goes further over and over the deep end. Though, he does bring some charm and humor to everything, though he doesn’t make a very good man on the run as he walks and sulks around his potential bandaged assailant the first time around. Nacho Vigalondo does a much better job at acting here then filling his enormous plot hole as well as the lab tech that gets Hector in this mess, and actually provides a layered performance that makes more and more sense as the plot unfolds. Bárbara Goenaga does a fine job of being an attractive physical specimen for Hector to check out, as well as playing a much better scared character then her counter part Karra Elejalde.
In the end, Timecrimes is ultimately a waste of time due to inability for anything in the plot to happen after the first 10 minutes. What happens after these 10 minutes is an interesting and an actually clever thriller that is full of decent twists and turns, but the gaping plot hole makes it all irrelevant. A well made film, with one huge mistake, makes Timecrimes a film I can’t really endorse due to my frustrations but could have been something cool if structurally sound.