Travelers (2017)

Let’s make on thing clear:  “Adam Starks” is not the name of the hero of some forgotten Gerry Anderson show.

Instead, he is a Nineteen year old Writer/Director, who has made four films to date, with the help of his friend Joshua Copeland – who stars with him in all four.  Travelers is his latest.

This is basically a coming of age film, about two young men in Blackpool coming to term with their meaningless lives and the difficulties of adulthood.

But with aliens.

For those who think such things are important, the CGI flying saucer is very shiny, despite its nicely retro design.  As is the alien, who only appears for a few seconds.  The effects are quite minimal otherwise – with one major exception:  the aliens have adopted the appearance of the two stars, so we frequently see them seamlessly integrated with their doubles.  It is done well enough to be unnoticeable, which is what one hopes to achieve with that sort of effect.

This is actually quite a surprisingly solid movie, with reasonable performances, cinematography and sound.  I particularly liked the sequences where they visit a big amusement park in Blackpool.  The synth score gets a bit repetitive, with one particular track playing over an over again throughout, but on the whole the film gives the impression of reasonable competence.  Which, for an amateur production is actually quite an accomplishment.

There is one of the characters – the director of the secret group pursuing them – who is ridiculously young for the part, and, we assume, another close friend of Adam and and Joshua.  However, this seems trivial if you’ve seen the Norwegian SF film Everywhen, or the 2010 thriller Emulation, both of which are set in worlds which leave most of the important jobs in the hands of people barely out of their teens.

One major plus is that the film is only a little over an hour long, something I wish more young directors would do.  As I’ve pointed out in my reviews of Joshua Kennedy’s films, it is far better to edit your film to the right length, rather than pad it out to what you think would be more commercial.

Okay, we are talking about a modest effort, here.  It is modestly enjoyable, if you don’t ask too much of it, no matter how annoying that score is.  It will be interesting to see what Adam Starks will produce in the future.

It seems to me that he is off to a good start.

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