Continuum (also known as I’ll Follow You Down) is an intriguing science fiction drama which gives the well worn time travel concept an interesting new angle. Gillian Anderson and Haley Joel Osment lead the cast as the mother and son who are torn apart when Rufus Sewell’s physicist mysteriously vanishes.
Writer/director Richie Mehta avoids the usual genre tropes which litter time travel movies and keeps things low key. Don’t go into this expecting the special effects thrills of Back To The Future or the dramatics of Frequency. Mehta tackles the material with a realistic approach, playing it like a family drama rather than a science fiction.This makes Continuum feel fresh, even if the concept is well trodden. It’s a shame that the UK title is so generic, although having said that, I’ll Follow You Down will hardly set the box office alight.
From The X-Files to The Fall, Gillian Anderson has shown that she’s a versatile actress willing to try a variety of different roles and those expecting a Scully like role in this return to the science fiction genre will be disappointed. Gillian Anderson is given a lot to do on an emotional level as the grieving wife who just can’t explain what happened to her husband. It’s an interesting character act, one that plays out over 12 years and it gives the actress plenty of places to go on an emotional level. Haley Joel Osment will forever be remembered for his role opposite Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense and he shows that he’s grown to be an interesting actor. He may never have what it takes to be a traditional leading man but he has the chops to be a solid character actor.
Low key and well acted, Continuum is never going to raise the pulse too much but it is a a film that captures the imagination, treating time travel as a solid concept to hinge a story on, rather than a gimmick. Mehta keeps the scope small and intimate (possibly due to budget restrictions) and even when we get a glimpse at the past, it’s small scale and confined.
Continuum may never change the space-time continuum of sci-fi movies but it raises questions and packs enough of an emotional punch to make it an engaging piece of entertainment.