Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

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While in a pitch meeting at a magazine, a reporter brings up an odd article he saw in a local newspaper’s classifieds section that read as follows:

“Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”

The editor is sure this person who placed the ad is a wacko, but sends the reporter to Ocean View with two interns. One of the interns, Darius (Aubrey Plaza), is just going through the motions of life, and have never really gotten over the death of her mother years before. She agrees to go with the reporter, Jeff, as she has nothing better to do.  They track down the author of the ad, a grocery store stocker by the name of Kenneth (Mark Duplass), and he does seem sort of odd as they suspected.  Jeff approaches him to apply for the time travel assistant job, but it is clear he isn’t the person Kenneth is looking for and so he tells him to piss off.  Darius decides to give it a shot, and seems to earn Kenneth’s initial trust, but it isn’t going to be that easy. He has to be sure that she isn’t with the government and isn’t associated with the people who have been following him around. Oh boy.

Darius is put through a training montage of Ken’s awful martial arts and John Wu-like target practice, and is forced to be an accomplice when Ken steals some lasers for the time machine, which he isn’t ready to show her just yet.  The guy is obviously not right in the head, but Darius sees something special in him; despite his quirks and the fact that he thinks he can time travel, she is starting to fall for him.  He is so passionate about the time travel, that she starts to believe that just maybe he might be able to do it.  It’s then that she meets the people who really are following him; after linking him to other robberies of odd scientific stuff they are sure he is a terrorist of some sort.  Has Darius fallen for a guy building a bomb, or can this stock boy have really invented a time machine?

Alex’s Thoughts: To be honest, I only watched this because I love Mark Duplass on The League and Abury Plaza on Parks and Rec, and thought the two of them together would be watchable despite the story.  I was pleased to see that there was a lot going on in this thing, and your opinons about that characters change as the movie goes on, and culminates in an interesting ending.  It was interesting to try to figure out just how crazy Kenneth is. This should appeal to both sexes and there is something in it for everyone. Alex Rates This Movie 9/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I had no idea what to expect when I popped this in my DVD player, I have been disappointed by these “quirky” independent comedies lately, but this time around I was pleasantly surprised. It has many layers as all the characters have something to do, and actually evolve, which seems to be a rarity in films these days. I won’t give anything away, but I didn’t see the ending coming, at all. I really enjoyed watching this, and I am hoping that we can get a few more people to check it out. Tim Rates This Movie: 9/10

“I don’t know what he’s doing with those lasers, I’m not a freakin’ storm trooper.”

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View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

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