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See You Yesterday #MovieReview

Best friends CJ and Sebastian build a pair of time machines and use them in order to save the life of CJ’s brother.

See you yesterday movie poster

Starring: Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, Astro

Tagline: Going back is the only way forward

Release Date: May 17, 2019 | Rating: 3 out of 5

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See You Yesterday Review

‘See You Yesterday’ is a new Netflix movie produced by film legend Spike Lee. It mixes social commentary, comedy and time travel sci-fi in a way that’s not 100% successful but that ultimately achieves its aims.

The concept is simple and immediately appealing. African American teenagers CJ and Sebastian have invented a device that allows them to achieve “temporal displacement”. Simply put this means they can travel back days or weeks in time. They’ve done this for their high school science project, but when CJ’s brother is shot by the police, they use it to try and save him.

The film has a lot going for it. The young actors who play CJ and Sebastian are really likeable and turn in good performances, as do the rest of the cast. Michael J Fox has a nice cameo as their science teacher. The dialogue and direction are both solid. The film is colourful and vibrant, even if it does end up adopting a music video aesthetic at times.

Not everything is quite so successful. The science is pretty shaky, but the characters talk through it quickly enough that you don’t have to suspend your disbelief for long. The special effects are a bit lacklustre and end up making the film feel a bit cheap, but they do their job.

The film can be a bit jarring at times – it looks like a colourful family adventure, but there is a tonne of bad language, which I wasn’t expecting (and which delighted my 11-year-old son). But that’s also its strength – it uses a fun concept to make important points about modern America. It would be easy to dismiss it as ‘T.H.U.G. to the Future’ but that would do it a disservice. The more of it I watched, the more I liked it, and the more I got what the filmmakers were trying to say. In the end, the message is that no matter how futile it might seem, we must always fight injustice.

Published inMovie ReviewsUnstarred Reviews
©Sci-Fi & Scary 2019
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