My notes on Le Visiteur du Futur (The Visitor From the Future)
A time travel comedy from France. It opens with time-jumping hobo Fox (Florent Dorin) trying to prevent the apocalyptic meltdown of a nuclear reactor with too little prep … when the vital instructions for the two possible safety buttons are in Chinese, he brings in a Mandarin speaker to translate only to find the information is in Cantonese … and then sleekly-armoured Time Patrol agents turn up to thwart him and put things right, which leads to an ongoing end of the world scenario. After this, Fox decides to interfere earlier in the timeline and get to the once-idealistic politician (Araud Ducret) who is about to do a dodgy deal with the energy supplier to build the doomsday device, which involves the politcian’s slacktivist daughter Alice (Enya Baroux). Fox has allies in a Jeunet et Caro/Metal Hurlant/Beyond Thunderdome-look future, but they’re no more on the ball than he is – while the Time Patrol is similarly clumsy in achieving its aims. Writer-director François Descraques throws in dozens of ideas, some riffing on other time-travel or dystopian franchises but many relatively fresh – one of the Time Patrol’s most fiendish stunts is bringing in Alice’s older, disillusioned self to talk her younger, passionate rebel out of continuing to resist the inevitable. It’s funny, with a nice tangle of paradoxes and quite a bit of heart – the climax is especially satisfying. A possible franchise in the making.
Here’s the FrightFest listing.
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