'Safety Not Guaranteed' promises an interesting experience

July 13, 2012 

Mark Duplass (People Like Us) is Kenneth. He placed an ad in a Seattle newspaper saying he's invented a time machine and is seeking someone to travel back in time with him.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

An event in his life needs correcting. And for some reason he wants company.

One of the publication's best reporters tracks Kenneth down, but the man is paranoid, wary of publicity and won't talk. Mysterious and malicious men are out to trap him. Darius is one of two interns traveling with the reporter. To get the story, and advance her career, she tricks Kenneth into believing she's answering the ad.

The newspaper's reporter only wants to do the story to reconnect with a woman that lives in the small town where Kenneth resides. Love blossoms there and between Kenneth and Darius. A couple of side stories and a nice cameo by Kristen Bell (Gossip Girl) complete the plot.

Other than Duplass and Bell, Safety Not Guaranteed has a cast you've never heard of and is done by an unknown screenwriter and an equally unknown director. Like a lot of independent films, the very small budget is overcome by a lot of heart.

Writer Derek Connolly won the prestigious Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance, and this movie was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. This is a unique and — in many ways — very original story that features outstanding work from Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson and Karan Soni.

By the predictable climax, when Kenneth and Darius hop aboard his time machine, you are going to like these characters and this movie so much that you're not going to care if the time machine works or not.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Directors: Colin Trevorrow
Stars: Mark Duplass, Kristen Bell, Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Rated R for mature themes and language. It is playing at Regal’s Columbia Center 8.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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