This may be merely a quirk on this reviewer’s part, but generally it doesn’t bode well for a movie when the opening text, setting up its premise, is in the passive voice. “In the 25th century, time travel has been achieved,” it reads. Additionally, “assassins have been dispatched” to kill those who would make — or, I suppose, would have made — that future world a worse place.
By way of example, “Same Boat” — directed by Chris Roberti, who also stars in it — then takes us to a beach in the year 1989. There, a couple of those assassins from the 25th century, James and Mot (Roberti and Julia Schonberg), use a device that looks like what you might call a phaser, but more like what you would definitely call a forehead thermometer, to kill a couple that would have, years later, pioneered reality television.
Get it? Yes, surely you do.
Cut to the present day on a cruise ship, and James and Mot, who haven’t aged because they are, after all, time travelers, are on the lookout for Lilly, who must die for a reason not immediately specified. Lilly (Tonya Glanz) has just broken up with her goofball boyfriend on the ship, and as James observes her, he develops — you guessed it — romantic feelings for her.
Roberti also wrote the screenplay for “Same Boat.” (Two other writers are credited with concocting the story line, which is astonishing considering it’s wafer-thin.) The instinct to give him credit for devising a sci-fi premise that needs almost no special effects quickly diminishes as the movie slogs through a series of what look like filmed scene workshops. (As the end credits tell us, the movie’s cruise-ship shoot was a stealth one.)
While Glanz is the only cast member who gets within swinging distance of charisma, Roberti’s chops as a romantic lead are lacking. His way of maintaining some idea of bro cool is to deliver most of his dialogue as if he just woke up. Remember how people used to complain about Marlon Brando mumbling? When James reveals the reason he must kill Lilly — “she discovers a legal loophole that allows for rampant pollution” — it at first sounds like he’s saying, “She shugs a lilo oompah that lows for remnant sloop show.”
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 23 minutes. Rent or buy on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Xbox, Direct TV and through local cable providers.