Weekend Watch: Time Travel Movies — 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

Weekend Watch is a weekly movie review looking at the lastest films in the theaters, what's streaming online, and even black and white classics. This week: a nonsensical time-travel flick.

Best time travel movies:

  • "Back To The Future" (All of them).
  • "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure".
  • "Timecop" (if you like pure action cheesiness).
  • Not "Safety Not Guaranteed".


In "Safety Not Guaranteed" (2012), Darius (Aubrey Plaza) is an intern at a local magazine, who has been leading a rather boring life since her mother died years ago. However everything changes when Jeff (Jake M. Johnson), a hotshot reporter at the magazine, enlists her help in tracking down whoever placed a classified ad requesting a companion for time travel.

After watching this movie I find that I wish I had my own time machine just so I could go back a stop myself from having wasted an hour and a half on this nonsense. Certainly there would be the risk of a universe-ending paradox, but I feel the risk is worth the reward.

I was intrigued by the strong premise, as well as several actors (the before mentioned actors as well as Mark Duplass) who I find entertaining. Unfortunately, their comedic talents were bogged down by a mundane script and inconsistent direction from Colin Trevorrow.

A major part of why I chose to watch this movie was Aubrey Plaza. But her traditional deadpan delivery and always-bored attitude aren’t enough to save an unevenly written character. Darius’ personal journey left me uninspired.

Jeff, along with Arnau (Karan Soni) — another intern brought along on the trip, are the typical archetypes of Jock and Nerd found in so many movies. The problem here is that despite how much screen time they are given, they never really reach beyond being two-dimensional.

When Kenneth (Duplass), the man who placed the ad in the paper, is introduced, we are supposed to believe that he is crazy because of his partial mullet, jean jacket, and the fact that he talks about “Star Wars”, and the videogame “Contra.” Instead of creating actually funny quirks within the character, the writer expected to garner laughter by focusing on montages showing him “honing” his pathetic survival and fighting skills, but since this has been done a million times before, it lacked any real humor.

For those of you that still insist upon wasting your time with this utterly unfunny film be forewarned that the rest of the article will contain SPOILERS.

As the movie progresses, the chemistry between Darius and Kenneth begins to become believable, but I was continually pulled out of it by subplots (secret agents and Jeff’s unrequited love) that were boring. However, the film does get interesting when we find out that Kenneth’s desire to save his former love from death is a lie and he in fact wants to go back in time simply because of his obsession with her. This plot point is hardly developed and before you know it, the conflict this causes between Darius and Kenneth is resolved as they disappear into the past. They leave Jeff, Arnau, and the agents in various states of shock and the audience is left shaking their heads due to the lack of any real resolution.

If you are still interested in this film then you can find it on DVD via Netflix or Redbox, but in order to guarantee your safety I suggest you steer clear of this heap and head to your local theater to watch "Looper", a good film about time travel, instead.

What's your favorite time-travel movie? Have you seen Safety Not Guaranteed or Looper? Share your review in the comments. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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