Amanda and I watched Primer last night. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t really like it, for many of the same reasons I didn’t like Donnie Darko. Spoilers below:

This movie starts off well – it really draws you in to what these guys are trying to build, and seems like the perfect setup for a unique sci-fi movie. Once you realize it’s a time-travel movie things start getting interesting – and complicated. Fast. It’s really hard to follow the plot – hard enough that you give up eventually and assume it’s sortof a Memento-like plot, where nothing makes much sense, until it all crystalizes at the end in an elegantly and perfectly delivered ending.

However, that never happens. All you get is a big fat “The End”.

The first comment on IMDB gives you an idea of what kind of movie this is. You have to watch it once, go “What?” and then go spend 2 hours reading on internet forums. Then watch it again. Then read some more. Then watch it 12 more times. And then you’ll eventually come to your own conclusion about what happened, that differs from the conclusion other people arrived at, at which point you can argue about it endlessly on some dude’s blog.

This is a 90 minute movie. I have, roughly, 90 minutes to invest in it. I don’t really have time to watch a 90-minute movie 10 times just to understand what the hell it was about. I also think it’s a cop-out on the part of the movie-makers. Movies are a medium in which telling a cohesive story is very difficult, and it seems like in movies like this, instead of doing that, they just toss out a bunch of random shit and never tie it together in the name of “mystery” and “letting the viewer interpret it”.

And that’s fine. If you’re into that sort of thing, this movie is perfect for you. But I am not.