Like many others, I have always been fascinated by the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It was such a monumental event, a tragic event, and a mysterious event, even to this day. It remains the #1 conspiracy subject of all time. So only natural that it continues to have films made around that day. One new film, actually a mini-series, to hit our shelves is based on a Stephen King novel and stars James Franco, 11.22.63.
Jake Epping (Franco) is a high school teacher and a regular guy with a regular life. But when he finds out from a friend about a portal through time to 1960, he takes on his friends mission to travel back to stop the assassination of JFK in hopes of making a better world in present times. But messing with the past tends to have harsh implications and Jake will have to put many different pieces in place to ensure everything goes as planned.
Leave it to King to put a unique twist on time travel. Without wanting to spoil too much of the plot of 11.22.63, King has constructed a time travel portal that will only go to one specific day in 1960. You can come and go as you please but when you do something in the past that changes the present, it will all be undone if you come out then go back in. Changes only stay if you don’t travel back again.
And no matter how long you stay in the past, only 2 minutes will have passed in the present, but you will still age the amount of time you are gone. These stipulations make for a very interesting time travel tale. Epping must to back to 1960, find a place to live, and identity and a way to survive for three years until the assassination happens. This is quite a price to pay. So this elongated tale of how Jake survives for three years, the people he meets, the job he takes, the connections he makes and his investigation into the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, is all incredibly fascinating. The entire cast are all great especially Sarah Gadon who plays a woman Jake falls for in the 60s, Nick Searcy as a man who hires Jake, Daniel Webber as Oswald, Chris Cooper as the man who discovered the portal, and George MacKay, recently seen in Captain Fantastic with Viggo Mortensen, as a man Jake befriends in 1060 who may have a huge effect on the outcome of Jake’s mission. 11.22.63 is a fascinating and fun time travel tale well worth taking. Highly recommended.