I had a friend recommend this film a while back and I must say I am really glad he did. Safety Not Guaranteed was an unusual, yet captivating film that delivers a great story with great characters.
I enjoyed almost everything about this film, including its obscure plotline.
Newbie director Colin Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly were quite the duo in creating one of the best Dramady indie films I have seen to date. I really enjoy a movie that much more when I can tell the persons behind the creative processes were also enjoying their abilities. It truly shows in the dynamics of this film and is hopefully a sign of great things to come from the two film makers.
Safety Not Guaranteed starts things off in a Seattle magazine office meeting. They are discussing the usual things any typical magazine would, trying to find interesting or newsworthy stories to sell the periodical.
One of the topics discussed is in reference to a wanted ad that states:
WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED.
Soon after a short discussion on the obscure topic, a writer named Jeff played by Jake Johnson volunteers to investigate and find the individual who posted the ad. Jeff then demands that he have two interns to accompany him on his assignment Darius played by Aubrey Plaza and Arnau played by Karan Soni.
The team then heads to Ocean View, Wash., and easily figures out that a grocery clerk named Kenneth, played by Mark Duplass, is their author. Jeff takes a swing at getting Kenneth to open up to him and fails miserably. Darius, however, has a much better approach and easily gains Kenneth’s trust by playing his game and pretending to want to actually join him on his time travel experience.
As, she is getting to know Kenneth the more interesting he becomes and she seems to be enjoying the experience he so graciously invites her to be a part of. While she is trying to infiltrate into Kenneth’s ranks, Jeff is off trying to hook up with an old high school flame and exposes the truth behind why he volunteered for the assignment.
This I feel was great for the story because it allows you to delve into why Jeff is such a self centered jerk and in turn, Darius is getting more than she bargained for, when she starts to find out more and more about Kenneth’s troubling past. I love it when writers create fun characters that have actual depth to them with real problems because they are easier to relate with.
The movie starts to get even more intriguing when a couple of government agent looking men show up looking for Kenneth’s and proceed to tell Darius that Kenneth has a history of breaking into labs and stealing particle accelerator equipment. As it turns out Kenneth may not be full of crap after all and maybe, just maybe he has figured out a way to go back in time.
I loved it! It’s plain and straight forward but is a blast to watch the whole way through. I am a huge fan of any film that can get the audience into the mindset of the persons involved in the story. It brings the persons viewing the film closer to the story and makes it more personal. I feel that this creates harmony between the audience and the characters in the story and this in turn keeps your attention.
I really hope that more films like this are on the horizon, it is a breath of fresh air in the world of big budget flops. I found this on Netflix and also available at your local Red Box and video outlets.
I give it 8 out of 10