Wanted something pretty rubbish to add to my science fiction month of January. Something I hadn’t seen before. Retroactive popped up on a few lists. Umm what was I getting myself involved with? Well! Time travel on a dusty Texas dirt road with Jim Belushi looking more like Andrew Dice Clay. It’s a road movie with added murder, mayhem and a whole heap of bullets.
We get introduced to Karen (Kylie Travis) in a rather pointless flashback of a police job gone bad. She’s a Chicago psychiatrist negotiator who returned home to Texas to take a break from the past. Yep the usual, one bad day runs into an even worse bad day.
Drifting off in a daydream she’s run off the open road, she’s stranded. That is until Frank (Jim Belushi) and Rayanne (Shannon Whirry) come hurtling past in a cloud of dust. Reversing back, Karen reluctantly gets a ride. Inside the car the air is toxic. Frank is an aggressive, obnoxious arsehole. Terrorising Rayanne at every moment, rude and unpleasant to Karen. Frank is a constant threat, an intimidating bully. Any chance Karen can see a window to get the hell out of this situation, she is ready to take it. She feels for the tormented Rayanne but when the opportunity arises, it’s time to bail. What could go wrong?
Tagline – On a lonely Texas road, time, space and murder are about to collide.
Well a lot. None of it good. An incident resulting in Karen running petrified for her life across an empty desert dodging a reign of bullets. Where could she run to? What could possibly save her out in the middle of nowhere? Well lucky for our Karen she’s stumbled upon a Super Collider. A secret government accelerator project with only one lone man working on his pet rats. Brian (Frank Whaley) a scientist busy working on his time travel project. With a wobbly camera, a whirly spinning effect, a few electronic lightning bolts, a baffled Karen is back sat on the back seat of Franks car. The series of events are just about to repeat themselves. Can she somehow control the outcome? Can she outsmart Frank and stop this brutal man in his tracks? Yep you guessed it, rewind and repeat a few times.
Add to the mix a lovelorn Mexican kid called Jesse (Jesse Borrego) and one of the best character actors out there as a petrol gas station owner, Sam (M. Emmet Walsh). Then a stereotyped doughnut eating Trooper cop (Sherman Howard) and a Griswold style holidaying family and you got your cast. All you need now is for Jim Belushi to go into full psychotic mania mode and Kylie Travis to look as sulty as she can whilst taking her shirt off to run. She does a good job. You may ask if you haven’t seen it, is Retroactive any good?
Well! The first 20 odd minutes I wasn’t at all impressed and nearly aborted this actioner dusted with a coating of sci-fi. But I’m glad I stayed with it. It was exactly what I was looking for. Mindless, action-packed nonsense and Retroactive is full of that and some. Nonstop explosive action, if it can be blown up, why the hell not. Carnage, destruction and a helluva lot of shouting. There’s a few cool shocks in the returned stories as you begin to wonder why Karen doesn’t seem at all perplexed by the phenomenon she has just time traveled. And just in case you started to drift off to sleep, the never ending cascade of bullets being fired from eternally self loading guns will sure keep you awake.
It’s actually a pretty great popcorn chomper. Do I recommend? Haha well if you want mindless nonsense. Yeah give it a go. Have you seen it? Let me know if you wanna. Mikey