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James vs. His Future Self

James vs. His Future Self (2019) Movie Poster
Canada  •    •  94m  •    •  Directed by: Jeremy LaLonde.  •  Starring: Jonas Chernick, Daniel Stern, Cleopatra Coleman, Frances Conroy, Tara Spencer-Nairn, Daina Barbeau, Morgan Bedard, Telysa Chandler, Erla Glesby, Tommie-Amber Pirie, Jennifer Tocheri, Jordan Walker.  •  Music by: Stephen Krecklo, Ian LeFeuvre.
    When an uptight time-travelling obsessed young scientist is visited by his nihilistic future self, he's told that he needs to give up his dream of becoming the world's first time traveler, or else. But when he won't go along with the plan, it becomes a wicked battle of man versus himself - literally.


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How would you react if someone who looks like an elder version of yourself walked in on you and told you things about what the future has in store for you? I'm sure you'll be amazed, intrigued and even a bit intimidated at the same time. And suppose heshethey was sent here to warn you about grave dangers lurking ahead if you continue into a path where if you put yourself into a predicament and you will regret it for the rest of your life? And sure the concept of the indie film "James vs. His Future Self" may lack in originality, it still scores big with its unorthodox style with a moral message that it neither ham-fist or preachy.

Jonas Chernick plays James, an enthusiastic inventor who's in the process of creating a time traveling apparatus. All is going well for him, until a mysterious older stranger named Jimmy (Daniel Stern) claims that he his actually James from the future comes to warn him that inventing time travel is a thing he will regret inventing. If he continues to build this machine, it won't be a breakthrough in humanity, but a world where disasters could turn his world upside down. Though the disasters are not fully fleshed out, but Jimmy's words of advice seem so sincere and urgent, we are left with no choice but to believe him. The thing is James is so stubborn, he refuses to listen to him.

Then we must ask ourselves, why are bad decisions and humanity are so compatible with one another? For two simple reasons: the first, we never think about consequences and that out hunger and obsession for experiments are what drives us to beyond the boundaries. Also scientific breakthroughs become sources for fame, publicity comes with awards, accolades a place in the fields of science. Another is to dismiss the older generation who try to defy the younger generation that new inventions never work and that the better things in life are right in front of you. The older James just wants to anchor down and enjoy the better qualities in life like, friends, family and colleagues who may be more than lab partners. While young James just wants to to invent newer apparatuses and making a name for himself. When it comes down to it, who are we to judge in determining who's right or who's wrong? Should James listen to his elder self's advice and settle in the now, or should he just build something that could potentially destroy humanity? The nice thing about this movie written and directed by Jeremy Lalonde, is that we the audience have the freedoms to pick a side. Sure both Jimmy's are not entirely likable, they do the complex task of determining which Jimmy is right and which one is wrong.

Unlike the "Back to the Future" movies (nothing personal about them), where they glorify time travel and make it cool, "James vs. His Future Self" counteracts it all by saying it is not a good idea. Jimmy wants James to concentrate on getting romantically linked to fellow physicist Courtney (Cleopatra Coleman) and to treat her as an equal and not as just a mere sidekick. Eventually, James weighs down on himself and as we expect, he'll progressively open up his feeling to her and listen in on what she feels is right too.

The smaller supporting roles were just as equally entertaining. Tommie-Amber Pirie as excellent as James' sister Meredith and while Tara Spencer-Nairn (Constable Karen Pelly on "Corner Gas") is back as no nonsense Officer Walker. Frances Conroy has an interesting role as Dr. Rowley who just as enthusiastic about this time machine who at time may come off as eccentric, but also highly intelligent. Lalonde and Chernick never try to downplay the character's intellect or just find other ways for them to wallow in self-defeat. The conflicts between both Jimmy's is similar to the traditional father and son arguments and the natural chemistry both have towards one another is effective in its storytelling.

The main weaknesses here is that there are scenes that lag from time to time. And though the romance is an integral part of the movie and we hope a relationship between James and Courtney are in the future, it still slows thing down a bit. And sure there are laughs that might tickle your funny bone and then there are some scenes that are not afraid to take it down a notch. And while it may fall as another movie where the future looks bleak, it never takes a break to go off the subject. And sure it may hold itself well when it comes to sci-fi comedies, you may not really have an easy time choosing who's right or who's wrong.

Review by eric262003 from the Internet Movie Database.