By Naomi Roper
Kato (Kazunori Tosa) owns a cafe in front of Kyoto’s Nijo Station. One night after closing he goes up to his apartment above the cafe and finds himself on the screen of his IMac. It’s Kato – only Kato two minutes in the future. As he investigates the strange time travel phenomena his friends arrive and soon start to plot how they can use this to their financial advantage. As chaos starts to reign will Kato work out what’s going on and will it help him with his crush who works next door?
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is an inventive, delightful sci-fi comedy. Directed by Junta Yamaguchi from a script by Makoto Ueda it’s a masterclass in producing quality filmmaking on a low budget. The movie is shot in long continuous takes as Kato and friends have to continually travel from the cafe to his apartment upstairs to ensure that they say the words they heard future them say (I spent a lot of the movie wondering why everyone in Japan has such incredibly long extension cords).
I quickly gave up on trying to work out the rules or why it was happening but that didn’t lessen the fun of watching Kato and his merry band try to work out how to capitalise on their foreknowledge of the next two minutes. When things inevitably go wrong Ueda’s script is sharp enough and the acting strong enough that we find ourselves worrying desperately about these poor hapless idiots just trying to make a small amount of money from the unexpected phenomena. Things get a little silly towards the end and I wasn’t expecting the thematic link with the Disney + series Loki but it all worked for me.
The movie is fairly short (at 70 minutes it’s barely feature-length) but the brevity of the run time means that the pace never lets up and crucially means that the audience never has time to stop and question any of the logistics of what is happening. The romance between the lead and his crush never feels tacked on and develops organically over the course of the movie and is really very sweet.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is a charming, inventive time travel movie that will leave a smile on your face.
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes is available to watch on demand at the Fantasia International Film Festival