Parallels full movie review - Parallels
To simplify things, I will start this review pointing out something which doesn't have anything to do with the story of Parallels, but its nature itself.
I think that revealing its origin from the beginning will help to excuse some of its cons and reduce the disappointment waiting for us at the ending of the film. Parallels is a "pilot programme" which didn't become a TV series, and instead of that, it ended up being released as a film. So, the story ends exactly when it was starting to get more compelling, leaving us with the frustration of an interesting mystery without an answer, because it was originally intended to be developed through various episodes... and not in just 83 minutes. To be fair, that doesn't automatically excuse all the problems of the screenplay or the weakly developed characters of Parallels, but it places the film on a more flexible and less strict context, which favors the appreciation of its various pros. Like its title suggests, Parallels follows a group of youngsters in their multi- dimensional adventures, which start when they discover a mysterious building which has the power to transport them to alternate versions of the Earth, in which historical events followed different roads, sometimes with positive, and other times catastrophic, events. The central premise is quite attractive; and the visual style is simple but interesting. From the narrative point of view, there are wide opportunities to create varied sub-intrigues organically connected with the big main mystery: Who built the building? What was his/her purpose? What is "the contagion"? It might seem I'm revealing too much, but all that happens during the first 15 or 20 minutes of Parallels, something which proves its huge ambition and dynamic rhythm. I don't know whether there would have been material to hold more than one season, but I would have definitely liked to find it out. On the negative side, the characters of Parallels are bland and absolutely superficial, not to mention selectively stupid and prone to make the worst decisions in moments of crisis... except when they make big deductions in order to impulse the story. However, that kind of cons are common in any "pilot", and they can be solved with future adjustments. Unfortunately, we will never watch that hypothetical evolution of Parallels. Evaluating it on its own merits as a film, I found it entertaining and with enough imagination to compensate its logical holes and inconsistent attitudes of the uni-dimensional characters to some point. And of course, that abrupt but full of potential ending doesn't make things easier to digest. However, knowing that in advance might help to accept the unavoidable, and enjoy the pros while we imagine what could have been. I guess that, in an alternative dimension, Parallels became a long and solid TV series... or maybe, it ended up being like FlashForward, Heroes or Helix, starting well in order to collapse almost immediately. It might be better for us to stay in the ignorance.