It’s tempting to wonder if we’ve exhausted the time travel subgenre. Every screenwriter and filmmaker wears their love of Back to the Future on their sleeves — at one point in time, it was your favorite movie and you’re lying if you didn’t secretly love the sequel even more during your loneliest year of high school.
It’s gotten to the point where I wish Kyle Reese would come back in time to tell us to chill the hell out and let the robots take over. Even the Avengers couldn’t defeat Thanos and wrap up their bajillion movie franchise without resorting to some good old fashioned Snyder’s pretzellian time logic.
Which is why I’m so grateful The Speed of Time has arrived to break time travel movies once and for all across its manic, gleeful thirteen minutes.
Screenwriters Russ Nickel and William J. Stribling (also the film’s director) correctly identified the problem with most time travel movies: their muddied attempt at logic, at “science.” Since most time travel movies don’t make sense no matter how hard they try, this one doesn’t waste any of its precious time trying.
Johnny Killfire (practically played with green relish all over his WWE-branded physique by John Hennigan) has to team up with his younger self (The Goldbergs’ Sean Marquette) to keep the PizzApp he invented that broke the space-time continuum out of the TimeBorgs’ grasp. Yeah, get a load of that sentence. To thwart this faceless enemy (and/or himself), it requires an inspired amount of senseless action, rapid-fire time jumps, exclamation-ridden chyrons, LoJack jokes and enough muscles to make Sylvester Stallone wonder where he went wrong.
You know when your computer screen is overloaded with windows, your phone’s buzzing, your cat’s crying and the world is burning outside? Yeah, this movie feels like that… But fun! Throw as many action blockbuster and time travel tropes into a blender as you can think of. Spike it with several 5-Hour Energies and the result is The Speed of Time.
The Speed of Time knows its genre and its audience, and hands out rewards to 80s movie geeks like your overzealous neighbor on Halloween that’s going to try to make up for all of 2020’s ills by humping the candy aisle at CVS.
The end credits save the best and most necessary gift of all, the title song “The Speed of Time,” a riff on those classic on-the-nose songs found in every roided out 80s action movie. Written by Dylan Glatthorn with strong cues from Huey Lewis and the News’ “Back in Time,” the single is performed by American Idol alum Ace Young, who clearly had his older self travel back in time to give him the perfect stage name for precisely this moment and project. You can bet your LoJack it’s on Spotify.
If you’re (justifiably) afraid to go to the corner market or your hoity toity coffee shop for your caffeine fix, The Speed of Time will shove that pumpkin spice latte up your ass all the way into all those fancy brain lobes of yours.
With its dizzying, ADHD-fueled pace, The Speed of Time is the embodiment of an overzealous pregame for a college party you’re absolutely going to regret. But thankfully, The Speed of Time doesn’t come with a hangover.
The Speed of Time arrives on the sci-fi short film platform Dust this Thursday, September 17th.