Love. Fail. Repeat!
There is a very curious credit at the beginning of this film, that tells us it is based on Hugh Sullivan’s film, The Infinite Man.
The implications seem almost impossibly strange, particularly for an independent film: A remake? Of a film three years old?
Toto, we’re not in Oz anymore.
But that isn’t what we have here. This one is more like comic Jazz, a riff on a classic theme, played out in new and unexpected ways.
And, what’s even better is that it came from the Dominican Republic.
Diego, a researcher for the omnipresent Emmett Corporation, is trying to reignite the spark of his relationship with his girlfriend Laura. To celebrate the anniversary of their first weekend together he’s dragged her back to the sleazy sex motel they visited on that trip, with a tight schedule meant to repeat the events of that weekend.
Unfortunately, the motel closed down some time ago and is now completely abandoned and falling apart. Nor does the new device he borrowed from the lab, which is supposed to record all their sensations and allow them to relive them, exactly help. And, just to make things worse, Laura’s ex-boyfriend and stalker (not to mention Olympic athlete) Sandro, shows up unannounced, and it all turns into a disastrous failure.
However, Diego realizes that he can turn his borrowed device into a time machine, then go back and salvage his weekend and make it all turn out perfectly.
And that’s when things start getting really bad.
It is amazing, for a film which so openly admits its connection to another film, just how different it feels from The Infinite Man. Part of this is because of the many futuristic details, like the broken down android workers, the vehicles with Back to the Future style flying car wheels, and the various Emmett devices and products. Part of it is because of the film’s often sly and absurd sense of humor. I find the many commercials for Emmett products to be some of the funniest moments, as they are violent, oversexed, and extravagantly misanthropic. I suspect the closest comparison might be to the black and satiric commercials in Robocop, although they really aren’t that close.
Mind you, the best joke in the film isn’t borrowed from anywhere else: at the very end of a commercial extolling the virtues — and available features and add-ons for the latest Emmett cell phone, we are told that, with one of the additional components, you can actually use it for sending voices!
Nor is The Infinite Man the only influence at work here, as one of the twists leads us straight into Primer territory, as a scene repeats with Diego trying to give Laura instructions over an earpiece (also an Emmett product!).
However, I should note that there is a lot more sex and nudity this time around, so this is not exactly a family film!
Despite the fact that this is an often manic comedy, all the pieces fit together into a cohesive whole at the end, with all the trips explained, and the Möbius strip of a plot somehow winding its way between them all (and even making sense of the most extravagant image from the trailer!). This is difficult under the best of circumstances, but to pull it off and make it look this easy is a true accomplishment, and I have to give its director, Héctor Valdez, a lot of credit for creating a stellar science fiction film on his first attempt at the genre.
Hopefully he’ll be making it look easy again one of these days…