Primer (2004)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller


Primer (2004) Poster

Four friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there's something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they've built, wrestle over their new invention.


6.9/10
90,894

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  • David Sullivan and Shane Carruth in Primer (2004)
  • David Sullivan and Shane Carruth in Primer (2004)
  • David Sullivan in Primer (2004)
  • David Sullivan at an event for Primer (2004)
  • David Sullivan in Primer (2004)
  • Shane Carruth at an event for Primer (2004)

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15 October 2004 | noralee
From Tinkering with Tools to Tinkering with People
"Primer" starts out innocently like a "Start-up.com" docu-drama and the first part covers some of those same financial, friendship and entrepreneurial issues as computer geek engineers work out of of one of the partner's garage to perfect an invention.

But gradually, in this antiseptic atmosphere of white shirts, electrical experiments and tweaking mechanics, every human emotion, virtually as every seven deadly sin, except sloth, and beyond, starting with greed, takes them over.

Without any explanation to the audience, we gradually figure out that we're seeing a cleverer, low budget "Paycheck" or what "Ground Hog Day" played for laughs and an original "Outer Limits" episode did for irony (I didn't see "The Butterfly Effect" to see how it also dealt with time changes).

Rather this is an attempt to seriously examine the philosophical issues of chaos theory and how inventions can't be divorced from human frailties, both mental and physical.

Shane Carruth, as the lead actor/writer/director/producer is a true auteur--and could therefore give his nerd a wife and kid-- but perhaps an outside editor could have helped make the permutations a bit clearer as I didn't quite follow the intersections with outside characters. I followed enough to get caught up in the anxiety and suspense of each iteration.

It was amusing that I was the only woman in the audience.

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