The conclusion of Time Lapse is likely to find you either wiping a smirk from your face or scratching your head; such is the case when dealing with a mystery that involves the fourth dimension.
It’s also due to the clever, engaging story created around a trio of friends who stumble upon a device that sees the future. What Time Lapse does best is work within its conceit, both the dramatic and absurd parts.
See, the first 15 minutes or so strain credulity: Callie, Finn, and Jasper stumble upon a massive camera set up in their neighbour’s house that happens to be pointed directly at their front, unobstructed window. The owner of this device is found dead, and he has apparently taken a slew of photographs of the private goings-on of these three.
What’s more, the camera appears to be taking pictures of things that have yet to happen. Instead of going to the police about the death or the device, the more self-serving, shadier of the bunch decides to use the device to win money gambling on dog races.
Once you figure out a way to get passed this inane set up and subsequent silly choices, Time Lapse is incredibly fascinating. What happens is simply that these three keep looking at pictures and while they reap the benefits, they fear their own death should they not make sure these scenes are being recreating. A question of free will comes into play, and divisions among the three are created when they are forced to do things they don’t want to do; or maybe they secretly want to.
As Back to the Future has told us, gambling with knowledge of the future doesn’t work out well, so Jasper’s betting becomes a problem. But even with this outside interference, the film is about the decisions of these three people with whom we get to know fairly well.
Time Lapse is patient and gripping; amid some bouts of ridiculousness of course. While you’re racing over in your mind what you would do, what the characters should do, and what will happen, the film is already way ahead of you and ready to shock and impress.