Features

Time travel movies

Writer: Peter Chai

 

In real life, we tend to tell ourselves that we wish to have the ability or a time machine to travel back and forth to the past to do the things we should have done or change the way of things we have done or to the future to obtain the next set of winning lottery numbers (don't lie, we all had this wish some time or other). Needless to say that it is impossible, which is why Hollywood is making a ton of money when they come up with the next time travel movie, because it allows us to experience messing with time vicariously through them. There is a time travel movie for every longing, and we have compiled it all into this list below, with spoilers of course, about the different ways one changes their lives by travelling into the past and into the future.

"The Lake House" (2006)

In the past: After exchanging heartfelt letters through his special time-messed up mailbox at his lake house for a while, Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves), an architect from the year 2004 begins to fall in love with a female doctor named Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock), whom he have never met before, but is writing him letters from 2006. However, the couple DID meet each other in an awkward-yet-beautiful dance to "This Never Happened Before" by Paul McCartney.

In the future: It is a bleak future for Alex, as Kate finds out that Alex's death in a traffic accident was the reason why he did not make it to their date on Valentine's Day in 2006. Luckily, she was able to deliver a last letter to him in order to warn him about his impending death.

"The Time Traveler's Wife" (2009)

Back and forth between the past, present and future: Robert Schwentke's romantic piece shows us the sentimental side of the usually tough Eric Bana, who plays Henry DeTamble, a Chicago librarian who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes him to travel through time unintentionally.

When Henry and Clare (Rachel McAdams) finally have a daughter, he realizes that his daughter also has the power to travel through time, although with more control, and that he would be dead by the time she reaches five years old, and her preteen self tries to prepare her younger self for her father's death.

"Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me" (1999)
To the past: Austin Powers' nemesis Dr. Evil travels from 1999 to 1969 with a "time machine" just to steal Austin's mojo to reduce his sexual appeal. Following a hint from Dr. Evil, Austin travels backwards ten minutes and meets up with himself to save both the world and his crush CIA agent Felicity before Felicity was killed by poison gas.

"Déjà Vu" (2006)
To the past: Under the revolutionary 'Snow White' program, Special Agent Doug Carlin (Denzel Washington) goes back four days before more than 500 people were killed by a terrorist bombing on the ferry Sen. Alvin T. Stumpf. Besides investigating the truth, Doug found himself falling for Clare (Paula Patton), one of the female victims.

Future Doug eventually sacrifices himself in an underwater explosion in order for Clare to escape. Clare is then later approached by Doug's past self, or present, as it would be according to the new history where the bombing never happened.

"Meet The Robinsons" (2007)
To the past: Little inventor and orphan Lewis is brought to the future by his future son Wilbur to meet the Robinsons after losing in a science fair with a broken scanner. When he comes back, he is adopted by one of the fair science fair judges, and gets himself nicknamed "Cornelius", which is Wilbur's father name.

"Back To The Future" (1985)
To the past: Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is sent back to 1955 in Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown's greatest invention, a time machine car named DeLorean. The skateboard fan then meets younger versions of his parents and must bring them together in order to save himself.

To the future: After changing the McFlys in 1985 to a better family compared to the one before Marty travelled back to the past, Doc warns Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer about their children in the future. Three of them take another ride to 2015 to save their next generation.

"Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1988)
To the past: Two dumb teenagers Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) arrive in different era in a telephone booth to kidnap historical figures such as Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan Of Arc, Abraham Lincoln for the sake of their history assignment in the present.

"Terminator 2: Judgement Day" (1991)

To the past: T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent by John Connor from 2029 to 1991 to protect his mother and his younger self from T-1000, who is sent by Skynet to kill them. T-800 succeeds, and John Connor grows up to become the humans' Resistance leader against Skynet's killing machines in "Terminator Salvation".

"Men In Black 3" (2012)

To the past: Agent J (Will Smith) cooperates with the younger Agent K (Josh Brolin) to bring Boris The Animal down and save K from disappearing from existence. He also realizes that K is actually the man who took him into his care after his father's death.

"Looper"(2012)

To the past: Joseph "Joe" Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is tasked with the killing his future self to close the loop in 2044, but his older self (Bruce Willis) overpowers him, leading to his failure to close the loop and ultimately, his discovery of the future where a mysterious person called the Rainmaker is busy ending all of the loopers' contracts in 2074.

In the end, young Joe sacrifices himself to stop his future self from killing young Cid Harrington's mother, which will then lead the boy on the path towards becoming the Rainmaker.

Cinema Online, 26 March 2013


Showtimes