Time travel, its just science fiction right? WRONG. Well, right, but you tell that to people who want to see Keanu Reeves/Sandy Bullock romance films or Jerry Bruckheimer police procedurals and they might not go see your movie. You see 2006 was notable for two mediocre movies hiding time travel in their core. I’m talking The Lake House and Deja Vu.

Its not the first time there has been a time travel romance (Somewhere In Time springs to mind). And if anyone remembers Crime Traveller, we know that cops and time travel an go together. Indeed the basic paradoxes of time travel are so simple to comprehend that it is incredible that both of these films went to such a length to explain at tedious detail the inherent problems with time travel. And then generally ignore them.

I talked about The Lake House here, so will leave it alone, just to say that it at least ignores the conceit properly. In Deja Vu Denzel plays a cop with NO LIFE, investigating the blowing up of a ferry. Then some shadowy government scientists say to him, hey, look, we have a time machine that looks back EXACTLY FOUR DAYS (AND SIX HOURS) can you use it to work out who did it. The answer is yes, duh, it makes the solving crimes things quite easy. What Denzel is interested in, after having peeping tommed a victim in the shower, is how can he go back and save her.

At about the hour stage we are told that nothing can go back in time, due to mass/power blah blah blah ratios. And paradoxes. Then they send some paper back. It shorts out the entire city. Then, half an hour later, they send Denzel back.

From a piece of paper. To a person.

That’s science.

Anyway the film then chunters along making it look like YOU CAN’T CHANGE ANYTHING, and this has all happened. And then it Changes its mind, for no good reason. Well, okay, for the good reason that they want a happy ending. But you can’t have two Denzel’s hanging around perving on the girl. Which means the ending is fantastically easy to guess. BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THE RULES OF TIME TRAVEL MOVIES. At least Tony Scott reigns it in a bit, this this is pretty much just CSI: Space/Time Continuum, and would have worked better as a pilot. And its general lack of success will suggest hopefully that we stop hiding time travel movies.