Written by: Adam Vaughn | January 25th, 2022
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes (Junta Yamaguchi, 2020) 3 out of 4 stars.
Japanese director Junta Yamaguchi spins a concise, loosely science-fiction piece (running just over an hour) about a café shop owner who turns on his computer to find that his live video feed shows him moments from the future … but simply two minutes ahead! As more and more people join in on the time-traveling chaos, things start to get out of hand, and time has never been more of the essence. While Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is a whole lot of fun, it also feels like a more experimental, almost pointless journey, as well.
The only real issue is that the film’s premise only goes so far. Yamaguchi takes the premise to the limits and finds some extraordinary ways to maintain true continuity, whilst tampering with digital media to create a seamless sense of traveling across time. My real enjoyment was seeing just how far the premise would go, and how the film’s stakes could be raised. Sure enough, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes finds a sensible yet equally hilarious and tense progression, as the film introduces inevitable bad guys that stumble unaware into the time-traveling café shop residents.
It’s really the nonsensical tone, void of any serious ideas, that makes the film reach its full (if not limited) potential. Too much more of the slight science-fiction elements and the film would have been unbelievable and dishonest. But Yamaguchi makes sure to keep the film grounded in an intriguing single-take cinematography and finds a charming realism amongst a bizarre concept.
In terms of experimenting with the idea of overlapping webcam footage to create a sense of believable, real-life time traveling, Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is fun, witty, and constantly fast-paced to keep the story going and the viewer invested. Packed with a fun cast of mostly rambunctious characters (save for the protagonist, who at times can be a real downer considering he just discovered time travel!), Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes takes an extremely low-key idea and runs with it with well-crafted technical elements and the purest simplicity.