Published on October 28th, 2013 | by Jon Rutledge1
Safety Not Guaranteed Review
Movie Review: Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Guest Reviewer: Fat Samurai
Running Time: 86 mins
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Derek Connolly
Cast: Aubry Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni
Plot: Reporters follow up on a personal ad that says: “Wanted: someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons, I have only done this once before, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED”
This film was unfortunately overlooked when it was released but it completely enjoyable. The reporters who investigate all go for completely different reasons and learn something about themselves while they are there. A movie that has interesting characters and an engaging story is a rare thing.
Darius (Aubrey Plaza) is an intern who is deeply unhappy in her life. She asks to be assigned to the story after hearing it in a pitch session at the magazine.
The lead reporter is Jeff (Jake Johnson), who is using the story as a cover to hook up with an old flame from his past. He is an incredibly self-centered jerk who pushes all of the work on to the two interns. Even if you do not like Jeff as a character you can identify with his empty feeling that he is trying to fill by recapturing his youth. Jeff was a right bastard, I am sorry, but he was an important part of the story.
Arnau (Karan Soni) is the other intern who has very little life experience and is only working at the magazine because diversity looks good on a resume. He very book smart but not very worldly. Jeff takes it upon himself to force Arnau to experience life.
The person who placed the ad is Kenneth (Mark Duplass). He seems a bit off and is very protective of his private life. When Jeff makes his overly charming attempt to connect, Kenneth shoots him down cold. He sees that Jeff is not the right person to go back in time with. Darius is then forced to try and make contact. She makes a connection with Kenneth and the two start learning about each other and they develop a relationship while she goes through the trial training period.
Two people who need to take some huge credit for making this film work are the writer (Derek Connolly) and the Director (Colin Trevorrow) they made a film that is an outstanding observation of three completely different personalities brought together all finding something about themselves and the world. What I like about this move is how it challenges you to think of things differently. They are relatively new with a short, but good, resumes. They will be people to watch in the future.
The main part of this story is about how people can overcome their sadness by embracing what is real in life, no matter how bizarre that is. I was completely blown away at this gem. If you have not seen it, please take some time and give it a look.
Summary: Have you ever been surprised by a film that you knew nothing about?