If something had tought us “Back to the Future” is that you can’t play with time travel without consequences and the laws that are applied, well in this movie “Project: Almanac” if you pay attention you can find some mistakes that should be pretty obvious but they handle so that you focus on other things and so you would not notice these small errors about time travel.
Project: Almanac sets very few time travel rules, but one that is established early and used much later in the film is that if you look at your past/future self and they look back, you start to flicker out of existence. The problem is the parade of temporal convenience that makes that rule have no effect on the movie between the establishing scene and the payoff near the end.
The group travels back a few weeks to help the one who showed that you can’t look at yourself in the past, Goldberg, pass a chemistry exam. It doesn’t go well, so after they come back to the present, they try it again. Then they try it again.
Well, that threw all time travel laws out the window.
For most of the movie, the group is on a single personal timeline. They go to the past together and come back to the present together, at least until David, the main character looks like that guy from Prison Break if he was in high school, but still about the same age, grabs the idiot ball and runs with it like a sports metaphor. They can keep track of what they’ve done in the past, because they experienced it when they went back. If they went back to the same point in time again, they should have encountered themselves each time. There should have been an army of them watching Goldberg screw up his chemistry test.
There wasn’t. There also wasn’t a second David at Lolopalooza when he went back in time to redo a moment he almost had with the group’s hot-girl-who-isn’t-his-sister, Jessie. A moment he was there for, and bombed horribly. The first David who went back in time simply wasn’t there.
In this movie “Project: Almanac” we can see that we are exploring the concept of a fixed timeline but at the end of it they show us that we are not in a fixed timeline as we are thinking but in fact we found ourselves in a multiverse so that maybe answer the questions of where are the the others when Goldberg screw up his test? Or where is the second David in Lollapalooza?