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REVIEW: 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

REVIEW: 'Safety Not Guaranteed'

REVIEW: 'Safety Not Guaranteed', Flicks.co.nz

3 stars

Indie comedy about three colleagues who investigate a classified ad calling for time travel companions. From the producers of Little Miss SunshineIn Cinemas October 18.

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Safety IS somewhat guaranteed in Colin Trevorrow’s modestly enjoyable indie, which takes its plot from a real-life magazine ad that became an internet meme in the mid-2000s. The idea of someone looking for a partner to join them on a time travelling expedition is high concept heaven, loaded with the potential to be something wholly original and unpredictable - an arcanely twisted Charlie Kaufman-esque opus perhaps. However, Trevorrow and writer Derek Connolly take the less adventurous route, content to charm our pants off rather than set our imagination on fire.

The toned-down sci-fi quotient may bug viewers wanting something meatier - this is more romance with a dash of sci-fi rather than vice versa, about characters finding love in unusual circumstances rather than engaging in the convoluted mechanics of time travel.

The film’s deadpan approach to genre is endearing to a point, playing out certain tropes with a fittingly budget-strapped flatness (the goofy break-in at research facility to steal lasers, the generic sunglasses-wearing gov agents). But it’s when we’re in the company of Mark Duplass’ crackpot weirdo and Aubrey Plaza’s cynical mag intern getting all googly-eyed over each other that the film shows where it succeeds most in: heart-melting adorability.

Plaza’s first major lead role isn’t a stretch by any means, but fans of her work in Parks and Recreation won’t be complaining and she proves she can hold both the big screen and a part with larger emotions, even if her tried-and-true brand of drollness lacks surprise.

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