Mini Reviews (July 2014)
I'll Follow You Down
I'll Follow You Down (July 6/14)
Though it boasts an irresistible (and seemingly foolproof) sci-fi premise, I'll Follow You Down suffers from a sedentary and hopelessly melodramatic storyline that slowly-but-surely renders its few positive attributes moot. The movie follows Haley Joel Osment's Erol as he's drawn into the mystery of his father's (Rufus Sewell's Gabe) disappearance more than a decade ago, with the narrative kicked into motion by the surprising revelation that Gabe successfully invented a time machine and was killed in 1947 under suspicious circumstances. Along with the help of his scientist grandfather (Victor Garber's Sal), Erol embarks on a quest to both continue his father's work and prevent his untimely death. Filmmaker Richie Mehta has infused I'll Follow You Down with a deliberate pace that is, at the outset, not too problematic, with the movie's character-building opening half hour laying the groundwork for what could (and should) have been a solid little drama. Osment's compelling work as the film's protagonist certainly goes a long way towards perpetuating the promising atmosphere, while the initial inclusion of sci-fi elements seems to be paving the way for a second half rife with engrossing, Back to the Future-like plot twists and developments. Mehta's screenplay, however, places an all-too-consistent emphasis on the characters' increasingly tedious dealings, as the writer/director devotes the bulk of I'll Follow You Down's screentime to Erol's ongoing efforts at deciding whether or not to go through with the time-traveling escapade - which results in a palpably meandering midsection that's often far more repetitive than one might've liked (ie Erol changes his mind twice based on a personal tragedy). By the time the film does embrace its central conceit, in an anticlimactic final stretch that's clearly been hindered by a shoestring budget, I'll Follow You Down has established itself as a disappointingly half-baked endeavor that feels, for the most part, like a padded-out episode of The Outer Limits.