THE TIME SHIFTERS
The plot of temporal tourists seems a rehash of the much more conceptually challenging Timescape (1992). The coincidences that the plot requires make one groan in disbelief ie. Casper Van Dien discovers the same person is in photos at the scenes of major disasters throughout history and then in the very next scene gets on a plane and finds the man there as well. The film has a number of credibility (or rather credulity) holes like why a tabloid newspaper that clearly makes up most of its headlines would waste money by sending a top reporter out to engage in investigative journalism. The concept of investigative journalism in tabloid magazines (outside of paparazzi shots) is an oxymoron. The other main credibility hole Thrill Seekers has is that if temporal tourism to historical catastrophes were such a thriving industry, then surely the plane flight that Casper Van Dien takes would be filled with dozens if not hundreds of other people all come from various points in the future to watch the disaster happen.
What one can say is that at least in terms of its premise, Thrill Seekers plays out through the basic cliches and doesnt fall flat on its face with any obvious howlers. On the other hand, the second half of the film becomes a halfway reasonable science-fiction film. Things become interesting as we are drawn between Casper Van Dien who has standard heroic motives in attempting to stop the disasters from happening, which include trying to prevent his family from being killed, and the two temporal agents who are seeking to eliminate him because he is causing sweeping changes to the timeline they come from, including logically causing millions of people who are the descendants of those who would have been killed in the accidents to suddenly appear. The last quarter of the film becomes rather clever with everything going wrong, even the jolt killing off of heroine Catherine Bell, and Casper Van Dien flipping back through time trying to prevent this happening.
As the hero of the hour, we have the impossibly handsome Casper Van Dien, who has alas spent most of his career stuck in B-budget junk. Van Dien has a handsome competence in the role. He is balanced out by an appealingly perky performance from the lovely Catherine Bell. There is also a worthwhile performance from Peter Outebridge who invests the role of the pursuing heavy with a number of moral dimensions that make it stand out. The same cannot be said for his companion Theresa Saldana who plays through a thick foreign accent and looks like an aged woman trying to dress up in leather and vinyl and go out dressed to kill despite being twenty years past the age when this is likely to turn anyones heads.
Director Mario Azzopardis other genre films include:- the serial killer thriller Bone Daddy (1998), the clairvoyance film Still Small Voices (2006), Witchslayer (2010) and Aladdin and the Death Lamp (2012).