Continuum Film Review
Continuum is a film which was actually made in 2013. In the states it is known as I’ll Follow You Down, a much more emotive title which follows this emotional story of a son trying to find his father across time. As it is, the name Continuum perfectly sums up the scientific element behind the film and the idea of time travel.
We begin in 1999 with Gabe (Rufus Sewell), a brilliant physicist with a lovely wife Marika (Gillian Anderson) and a son Erol (Kiara Glasco). He gets on a plane and the story begins. I have to admit I did not notice where it stated that this began in 1999, but when Gabe disappears from his lab and Sal (Victor Garber), who happens to be Marika’s father, begins to investigate his colleagues disappearance, he opens up the Apple Mac laptop running a dated OS 9 system, that was the first and only clue. The story sets up his disappearance as a complete mystery, but there are strong hints that it is to do with his work.
Jump forward to 2013 and his disappearance is still an unsolved mystery. We then go to the now twenty-something Erol, played by none other than Haley Joel Osment. Yes, the kid from The Sixth Sense, except he isn’t seeing dead people anymore, he is shaving a beard and being a physics genius. Once you get past your ‘holy crap is that the kid from The Sixth Sense?’ moment and the ‘he got fat and old!’, you will probably follow up with ‘oh actually he isn’t really that fat, or that old, he just looks a bit like a 90s college kid rather than a 2013 college kid.’ However, once this initial shock subsides, he isn’t that bad and you can kind of believe him in the role.
The story delves into Erol, Marika and grandfather Sal’s new life after the disappearance of Gabe. Erol, under supervision from Sal, delves into the work which his father had left. This begins the tale of montages and black boards in which Erol tries to figure out what his father was doing and if it can be replicated. Erol and his girlfriend are childhood sweethearts who are very much in love and planning their future together. The story becomes Erol’s obsession with knowledge and discovery versus his love life, and various emotional catalysts make him switch between the two courses of action: staying with his girlfriend and raising his unborn child; or following his father back in time to stop his murder and restore the original course of events which were supposed to have taken place. This is helped with some Back to the Future 2 blackboard time continuum referencing.
There is one farcical moment when Grace (Susanna Fournier), Erol’s girlfriend, finds one book describing wormholes and internet searches (not google), what wormholes are used for, and discovers what her other half is planning. Now this seems like a pretty easy and specious conclusion to come to; nevertheless, it is this moment which allows for the conflict in the film.
The film is not a masterpiece, but it is entertaining. There is plenty of intrigue and, whilst sold to me through the synopsis of a time travel drama, it really isn’t this type of film. It is a movie with a central premise of genius struggling with life or brilliance. There is a fairly shocking ending to this endeavour which pushes the protaganists to finish in a reasonably satisfying way. However, given the film’s limited marketing and lack of huge actors or budget, it could have used the opportunity to do something different with its last act and made something out of a relatively mediocre affair. As it is, it is watchable but not brilliant, a fine novelty to watch ‘The Sixth Sense kid’ all grown-up, as well as an enjoyable walk down the sci-fi time travel lane.