Starring Mark Duplas, Aubrey Plaza, Jake Johnson
Release date Boxing Day (26 December 2012)
investigating an advert asking for a partner for a time travel trip, magazine intern Darius (Plaza) meets seeming nut job Kenneth (Duplas)—but what if he’s telling the truth?
Based upon a real advert (created to simply fill some space in a magazine page layout), Safety Not Guaranteed is a smart, entertaining, quirky and off-beat ‘rom com’ that dramatically turns into a genuine science fiction movie in its final minutes.
Aubrey Plaza is cute and kooky as magazine writer Darius, who gradually falls for the off-beat charms of Mark Duplas’s older grocery store clerk Kenneth. He claims to have invented a time machine and needs someone to accompany him on his travels. The film plays the question of whether Kenneth is mad, deluded or genuine right up until the final moments, and Duplas pulls off the performance wonderfully.
Darius’s boss Jeff (Johnson) is on a time travel adventure of his own, as he takes the trip to Washington state as an excuse to hook up again with an old High School girlfriend, only to discover that in some ways you can’t go back.
This is a low budget outing, playing mostly in the real world for the majority of the running time. Despite that, and thanks to the clever writing, neat direction and great performances, Safety Not Guaranteed is guaranteed to become a science fiction classic.
Verdict: The indie film antidote to Looper, 8/10
Brian J. Robb