Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: See You Yesterday

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Copyright: Netflix

Trust in conglomerates. Netflix is making content. Don’t question the quality. Why question the quality when there are moving images on the screen? Good enough for some. See You Yesterday is a film. That’s where the niceties stop. A film of mere components, nothing assembled. The fill in your blank style to this nonsense is part and parcel of the Netflix brand. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and its choose your own adventure prop seems to have dribbled into this Stefon Bristol directed piece, who doesn’t know or doesn’t care as to where his story is going, so leaves it up to vague prompts and awkwardly disjointed moments of bland sentimentalism. 

With such sweeping complacency and a fascinating inability to choose the style of film it wants to offer; See You Yesterday is a car crash of so many different ideas and none of them work. Throwing science jargon at just about everything, See You Yesterday gets away with useless dialogue by throwing buzzwords in where it can. SSDs instead of stylish flair from Bristol’s direction, protons punctuating every other line where there’s a plot hole or unfinished bit that doesn’t work if there’s an agonizingly long pause. Quite surprising it may be to see such lacklustre care in the face of writing, but here we are. A script completely devoid of any meaning translates to the big screen about as well as you’d expect it to. It gets rather grating.  

Not the most compelling of leads, either, but that’s a problem for the script rather than the performers. There’s no life to these characters or the dialogue they spit out. Caricatures that leave it up to the audience to fill in the blanks, but that implies they’d care to do so. I didn’t care to do so, there was no hook here. No moment of genuine care of brilliance that would make for anything interesting. The comparisons to Do the Right Thing are justified, but at least Spike Lee brought some life to the various characters littering the streets and shops on the hottest day of the year. His producer status bleeds into every aspect of the film, but not the good parts.  

Did we need a rendition of Back to the Future with more obscenities than plot points? No, we did not. Still, rolling out Michael J. Fox is sure to turn some heads, and I assume that was the main draw for many, myself included. We’ll never fall for this again, though. There are only so many times pop culture references can carry an entire film. The well has run dry, and we’re trapped at the bottom now, with Netflix the only company down there with us. They’re offering us nothing but dreary content, over and over again. Surely the scales are tipping towards cancellation and a retreating need to rely on Blu-rays, rather than toward bumping the prices up for all this variety of mediocrity.