By Dave B.
Time travel movies are often frustrating. Curvature (2018, currently on Hulu) is no exception. In it, the protagonist, Helen, wakes up one morning with no memory of the past week. She receives a mysterious phone call warning her to get out of her house immediately. From that point on, Helen tries to uncover clues as to what has happened to her, who the phone call is from, and what sort of danger she faces. As a mystery, the movie isn’t terrible, but it has a lot of flaws.
The best thing about Curvature is that for a decent amount of time, I genuinely wanted to know what was going on. Unfortunately, once the source of the mystery becomes apparent, the movie lacks any other good qualities upon which keep viewers’ interest. The acting is mostly subpar and the pacing of the movie is terrible. It’s alright for a mystery movie to be somewhat slow, so long as clues are being uncovered, participants and motivations are being revealed, and danger feels imminent. Curvature didn’t do any of those things well and there was a lot of time spent with Helen talking about philosophy with her friend or remembering times that she discussed philosophy with her husband. Put simply, the movie bored me more often than it intrigued me. There are also some ridiculous inconsistencies in the plot. For example, in one scene Helen’s location gets tracked through a gun she has in her possession, but in the next scene, despite still having the gun, the same person who tracked her before is completely incapable of determining her location. It doesn’t make sense and it’s annoying.
Most annoyingly (to me) Curvature falls into the common time travel movie mistake of having a character or characters at previous points in the timeline possessing access to information that is impossible for them to have. Because of my obsessiveness about paradoxes and continuity, I’ve barely been able to sleep since watching this damn film. I keep thinking about how the movie fundamentally doesn’t make sense. I REALLY hate that. I understand that time travel continuity is hard. And that’s why, unless you are going to go over every detail with a fine-toothed comb, like was clearly done in Future Man, my advice to screenwriters is to just avoid the time travel genre completely.
I do not recommend Curvature. Maybe if you’re a hardcore fan of the time travel genre, are desperate to watch a new time travel movie, and you don’t care if it’s good or makes sense, you might get a bit of enjoyment out of this movie. If that doesn’t describe you, you’re likely to find this movie boring, nonsensical, and/or frustrating.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.