It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
Time travel in the movies is always about paradox. And it always drives me nuts. Sometimes I enjoy that, in the same way I enjoy chess -- and that's a compliment. My mind gets seduced in chess by trains of thought that are hypnotic to me but, if they could be transcribed, would be unutterably boring to anyone else, since you always think of a chess piece in terms of its function, not its name: If this goes here and he moves there and I take that and he takes me back, and I reveal the check and he ... And if you're a grandmaster, I don't imagine you think in many words at all. It's more like Hmmmm ... a-ha!
"Timecrimes" is like a temporal chess game with nudity, voyeurism and violence, which makes it more boring than most chess games but less boring than a lot of movies. It begins by introducing us to an ordinary sort of Spanish guy named Hector (Karra Elejalde), who is sitting on his lawn of his country place using his binoculars and sees a babe stripping in the woods. Now this is important. What he is witnessing is the outset of an event he has already participated in, because of time travel. And when he goes to investigate, he runs the risk of running into himself, which, for paradoxical reasons, he already knows. Not this "he." The other "he."
I guess you can make up the rules of time travel as you go along, but whatever they are, they have to be inexorable, and there have to be dire consequences when a mere mortal rips the fabric of the space-time continuum. The reason we don't get more warnings of this danger, you understand, is that travelers into the past tend to do things which inalterably change the future, so that their present no longer exists for them to return to. I love this stuff.
Hector has a main squeeze named Clara (Candela Fernandez), but leaves her to go into the woods, and finds The Girl (Barbara Goenaga), who has been assaulted by -- don't get ahead of me here -- and then a little later he meets the Scientist (Nacho Vigalondo, the movie's director), who puts him into what turns out to be a time- travel machine, which had earlier, or maybe later -- now you're getting behind me -- done something to lead Hector to sit on the lawn, or maybe see himself sitting on the lawn, or maybe -- but now I'm ahead and behind -- and now (earlier, or later?) Hector wraps his bloody head (which I have explained in a review I still haven't written) so he will not be recognized by two of the three Hectors, although I am not sure whether this is Hector 1, 2 or 3.