July 09, 2005


One thing I had a little trouble figuring out was how Aaron goes back in time to before the "failsafe" box was created. They mention he was able to bring one of the other boxes in the failsafe with him, so I figured that's how he did it but I only worked out "how" [within the logic of the movie] this morning. At least I think I understand how.

In the movie, they start up a box and wait a certain amount of time to pass. Then they come back, shut it off and hop in. The vortex, or what have you, cycles between two points in time: A. the time the box was first turned on [the past] and B. roughly the time when the box was turned off [the present]. They get out when the box is at point A, thereby going back in time to when the box was first turned on. Something the weeble-wobble couldn't do because it was an inanimate object, trapped in the vortex, going back and forth in time 1300 times until the machine eventually wound down, leaving the weeble in the present and much older, covered in fungus.

At this point, Aaron can only go back in time a short distance and must prepare beforehand by turning the machine on. But when he discovers the failsafe box and the fact that he can fit one of the other boxes inside it, then he can get around that limitation to a certain degree. By turning on one of the smaller boxes, turning off the failsafe and hopping in with the smaller box, and then hopping out at the failsafe's point A with the small box, he's changed the rules a bit. Now the small box's point B [the present] is in the failsafe's point A [the past when it was first turned on]. When the small box is turned off to begin the cycling process, it starts from the failsafe's point A and cycles back to an undetermined point in the past, before either box even existed! It's almost paradoxical.

Anyway, that's how I worked it out in my head, I could be wrong. :)

I like how he named the charactors' Aaron and Abe. Abe built the boxes and went back in time first, but Aaron found a way to go back in time to before the boxes were even built, therefore Aaron comes before Abe, just like in the phone book!

And at the end, when Aaron is building the "really big box" in France, I assume he's going to use it like Russian dolls, with one box inside another, inside another, inside another etc. so he can keep leapfrogging further and further back in time.

The one thing I didn't like much was the Granger storyline. He discovers the boxes and uses one. This brings up the subject of Abe's failsafe, but that's about it. Pretty much a dead end plot device created for the sole purpose of bringing up Abe's backup plan. Ick.

There were also comments on the IMDB forums about how Aaron[3?] went to France while Aaron[1?] continued on in Texas. This confused me a bit cause while there could be short periods of time where there would be more than one Aaron, eventually the first Aaron would have to hop in the box and blink out of existence to create the second Aaron, therefore there would eventually only be one Aaron. But I guess Aaron had gone back in the box many, many times, trying to fix things, therefore it might take a very long time for all the future Aaron's to blink out of existence, leaving only the one Aaron in France. And I guess that's why he went to France, partly to get away from the whole Aaron everywhere, all the time thing. And all the hot Fench chicks, of course.

[update] Mmmm, reading the forum, it looks like the consensus is that you can't go back in time past the failsafe. Damn, I thought my theory worked pretty well. Apparently, Aaron just used the failsafe to carry the little boxes back to replay the party scene over and over until he got it right. Doh!
The way the boxes are set up you could never go back any further than the first moment the box is set up.

Posted by Fungii at July 9, 2005 01:46 PM |