'Curvature': Film Review

Could use some straightening.
2/23/2018

Lyndsy Fonseca plays a woman who receives a mysterious phone call from herself in the future in Diego Hallivis' sci-fi thriller.

If the prospect of watching Linda Hamilton in a sci-fi thriller involving a character who travels through time to prevent a murder sounds exciting, my advice is to rent one of the Terminator movies. They are far preferable to Curvature, Diego Hallivis' low-budget effort exploiting a similar idea only with drastically duller results.

Until better headache remedies are invented, there really needs to be a respite from time-travel movies that generally prove far more confusing than fun. Such is the case with this film, about a woman, still grieving over the recent suicide of her husband, who gets a phone call. From herself.

"Get out! Now, Helen!" screams the voice on the phone to Helen (Lyndsy Fonseca), who naturally reacts with some confusion about hearing her own voice on the phone. But she quickly adapts to the situation, heeding her own advice to get out of the house to avoid being captured, or killed, by a sunglass-wearing government agent (Alex Lanipekun) who spends much of the rest of the movie pursuing her.

It turns out that Helen's dead husband (Noah Bean) was a scientist working on a secret project involving, you guessed it, a time machine, at Curvature Research, a company he co-founded. Desperately attempting to stay alive, Helen enlists one of her co-workers, Alex (Zach Avery), to help her get to the bottom of the mysterious goings-on which involve her late husband's former partner (Glenn Morshower, a veteran character actor you'll instantly recognize despite not knowing his name). Along the way, Helen gets frequent assistance from the other Helen, who clearly does know what's going on, and helpful advice from her scientist mentor (Hamilton).

The dialogue in time-travel movies has a tendency to get awfully loopy, and that's certainly the case here with Brian DeLeeuw's screenplay. When Helen tells Alex that she needs to find the other Helen, he asks her where she would go if she were her. Then it suddenly dawns on him. "If you were her? You are her! So where would you go?"

And so it goes, although for much of the film's running time the metaphysical logistics are sidelined in favor of generic thriller mechanics that might have been exciting if they're weren't executed in such routine fashion. Director Hallivis keeps the proceedings at a reasonably fast pace, with Adam Taylor's electronic music score helping to quicken the pic's pulse rate. But it's not enough to prevent the proceedings from lapsing into incoherence.  

The actors, particularly Fonseca, do an admirable job of pretending they don't know how ludicrous the material is. And it's always a pleasure to see Hamilton, even if it's painfully obvious that she's been cast in the very minor role only because of the genre resonance she brings to the table. But if you happen to get a phone call from yourself advising you not to see Curvature, by all means heed it.

Production companies: 1inMM Productions, The Havillis Brothers
Distributor: Screen Media Films
Cast: Lyndsy Fonseca, Glenn Morshower, Linda Hamilton, Zach Avery, Alex Lanipekus, Noah Bean
Director: Diego Hallivis
Screenwriter: Brian DeLeeux
Producers: Julio Hallivis, Diego Hallivis
Executive producers: Anne Clements, Phil Haus, John Wgner, Ken Mordechai
Director of photography: Noah Rosenthal
Production designer: Laura Miller
Editor: Joel Griffen
Composer: Adam Taylor
Costume designer: Carla Shivener
Casting: Jason L. Wood

89 minutes