PARALLEL – Review by Susan Granger

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This Canadian sci-fi thriller has a clever premise: four young people discover a portal to multi-universes.

In the fantasy prologue, there’s a glimpse of Marissa (Kathleen Quinlan) and her doppelganger.

Then in Seattle, faced with an outrageously demanding deadline that’s rapidly approaching, four aspiring techies are living in a rented house so they can work 24/7 on their innovative parking app.

One day, they inadvertently find stairs to a secret attic containing a long, mysterious mirror that serves as a portal to a parallel dimension. They soon come to understand calculations of the time-travel concept: one minute in our realm equals three hours in an alternate realm.

While they must avoid the twin ‘alternative’ versions of themselves that exist in this time-distorting place, they immediately realize they can profit by ‘stealing’ knowledge from the future to create wondrous technical inventions to make a great deal of money in the present.

There’s ambitious Noel (Martin Wallstrom, who plays Tyrell Wellick on TV’s Mr Robot), morally conscious Devin (Ami Ameen), reckless Josh (Mark O’Brien) and conflicted Leena (Georgia King). They are excited and intrigued by their unexpected discovery, which inevitably leads to multiple betrayals.

Problem is: greed takes over.

Working from Scott Blaszak’s convoluted screenplay – with superficial subplots alluding to various theories of time and space – Mexico-born director Isaac Ezban fashions a cautionary tale, somewhat reminiscent of Flatliners, but it soon loses steam and his penchant for using diverse camera angles to differentiate different universes is sometimes dizzying.

FYI: Isaac Ezban is the co-founder of Autocinema Coyote, the biggest drive-in chain in Mexico.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Parallel is a flawed 5, even for those who relish esoteric sci-fi/horror.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.