While I do not have much if anything nice to say about Time Lapse, including not liking the title, it’s somewhat admirable director and co-writer King and producer and co-writer Bp Cooper were able to keep it going for an hour forty. They sort of faked it past the ninety minute mark, sort of into actual indie territory but also not. Because despite being able to get that hour forty from a movie with three characters and two locations. Guest stars are infrequent and brief. Jason Spisak’s questionably Russian bookie shows up the most but it’s not like Spisak helps the movie. More actors wouldn’t help. In fact, having Amin Joseph and Sharon Maughan just around a little bit, they seem a lot better than they might if they were doing more.
The most surprising thing about Time Lapse is it isn’t Canadian. It was not filmed in Canada. Danielle Panabaker is not Canadian. I watched “The Flash” for five years; always assumed she was Canadian. Lead but second-billed because he’s not on “The Flash” Matt O’Leary. Also not Canadian. Very surprised. George Finn—who basically does a Kyle Gallner impression, which is a very strange approach to one’s acting choices but whatever—he’s not Canadian. I think I’m giving Canada an undeserved bad rap these days. Canadians make “Kim’s” and “Schitt’s.” Americans do not.
Anyway. My probably stale distrust of Canadian productions aside, Time Lapse is kind of… well, it’s basically Shallow Grave with a time travel MacGuffin thrown in to keep things interesting until the inevitable if not predictable—got to get it to the hour forty over the ninety minutes—plot twists in the third act. King and Cooper, as writers, have some good broad concepts and no idea how to execute them in the script and the ideas they do confidently execute, particularly in the third act, are where the movie loses whatever goodwill it’d been passively culling for eighty-five minutes. O’Leary has a few good moments. Not the monologues or the big eureka moments, but he does have some decent to solid moments of acting. He doesn’t seem miscast. Whereas Panabaker and Finn are both quite obviously miscast. Finn’s just terrible. I mean, yes, the dialogue’s atrocious and the character relationships lack requisite depth but Finn’s still pretty terrible. Panabaker’s just terribly written and miscast. She’s got a really bad part. It’s frankly inconceivable King and Cooper could pull it off. Any of it really.
Including believably costuming and making up Finn.
With a higher concept, Time Lapse might be watchable—if long (after a mind-numbing first act, the second bounces back hard and is genuinely engaging for a while). Or a better cast. Or better filmmakers. Sadly it doesn’t have any of those things.
Though nothing is ever worse than Andrew Kaiser’s music. It’s atrocious and there’s a lot of it.