Parallels Movie Review
Written by Steven Wood
Released by Fox Digital Studios
Directed by Christopher Leone
Written by Christopher Leone and Laura Harkcom
2015, 83 minutes, Not Rated
Released on VOD on March 1st, 2015
Mark Hapka as Ronan Carver
Jessica Rothe as Beatrix Carver
Eric Jungmann as Harold
Constance Wu as Polly
Yorgo Constantine as Alex Carver
After receiving a curious voicemail from their father, estranged siblings Ronan and Beatrix Carver are brought together to search for their mother, who is left wandering in an alternate Earth.
Does anyone remember the old Fox show Sliders? You know, when the lead character accidentally creates a portal to alternate Earths? Well that is this movie, in a nutshell. While Sliders was easily my favorite science fiction show growing up, Parallels can easily be the next great thing in inter-dimensional and/or time travelling sci-fi.
This movie hits all of the right notes, from likable characters to good special effects, though it does take some time to warm up to Ronan. The only real detriment is the ending, which I will get into a bit later. The method in which the group travels from Earth to Earth is by way of an abandoned building, a rather large one that looks very plain and as the story develops, we learn that it was created for this sole purpose and no one knows who’s responsible for constructing the mysterious vessel. But one thing is for certain: across every Earth, the building acts as a gateway every 36 hours and takes all of its inhabitants along for the ride. So, like Sliders, the group has to be in the presence of the travelling device in order to leave, otherwise they remain stuck.
The group “jumps” three times in the mere 83-minute runtime, but nothing feels rushed during the time they spend at each Earth. The first being a post-apocalyptic scenario with a limited amount of people. In contrast, the next Earth presents the group with very advanced technology and we get to see some character doubles. An interesting piece of tech that comes from this Earth would be how the money system is directly related to the person’s DNA, as a “bio-scan” is required to purchase anything, and traditional money is useless. I found this idea to be unique as I don’t recall seeing this before, so that was nice.
Parallels plays as a TV show, right down to the obvious breaks for commercials, I was honestly a bit confused while watching this, as I wasn’t sure if this was a pilot for a series or a full movie. That being said, the ending is where Parallels REALLY feels like an episodic story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but we find out certain people aren’t who they say they are, and the group comes to a realization they cannot travel back to their Earth, at least not intentionally.
According to director Christopher Leone’s website, Parallels is the first of a planned series. Whether or not this will take place in movie form is unknown for the time being. Whatever he decides on doing, I will most certainly be along for the ride.