Have You Seen This Time Travel Hidden Gem on Amazon Prime Video?

“They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.” Windshield wipers move across a car’s windshield slowly. 

“I wish it were that simple.”

That’s how Volition, a 2019 Canadian sci fi movie, begins. 

Brief Summary (Spoilers Ahead)

Adrian Glynn McMorran (Arrow, Supernatural) portrays protagonist James in Volition. Despite his clairvoyance ability, James lacks the will to use his gift for anything other than petty crimes.

Adrian Glynn McMorran as James in Volition
Adrian Glynn McMorran as James in Volition

He perceives small glimpses of future events without the ability to divine the outcome of the future in its entirety. The moments which elude James often result in James making a wrong choice, thus making matters worse.

At seven years old, James’s mother died in a terrible car accident while she and James rode in her car. James envisioned his mother’s death two months before the accident but he didn’t realize it was a vision of things to come.

A scientist named Elliot fostered James after the accident. His mother’s death and the burden of clairvoyance inevitably led James to become a sad, jaded man that relies on alcohol, smoking weed, and petty crime to cope with life.

Volition primarily focuses on events that occur over the course of one day. James helps a woman – Angela – from getting beat up, resulting in James getting beat up instead. However, James saw himself and Angela happy together in a clairvoyant vision and intentionally let the events play out. 

 Magda Apanowicz as Angela and Adrian Glynn McMorran as James in Volition
Magda Apanowicz as Angela and Adrian Glynn McMorran as James in Volition

When James says that “Our choices don’t matter. Life happens beyond our control,” Angela’s there with a counter-response: “That’s a shitty way of seeing the world.” 

As James leaves for his apartment, his friend Sal, recently released from prison, and Terry, Sal’s cellmate, stop and talk to James. Sal says that Ray, his cousin and low-level mob boss, wants to talk to James about a new job that requires his ability.

James gladly agrees to the meeting, as he needs money to pay his rent by the end of the day.

The trio meets up with Ray and discusses the job. Ray needs James to help hand off smuggled diamonds to Ray’s contact. James mentally flashes a brief vision of him handing the diamonds off, so he confidently accepts the job. 

Frank Cassini (left) as Sal and Aleks Paunovic (right) as Terry in Volition
Frank Cassini (left) as Sal and Aleks Paunovic (right) as Terry in Volition

The plot twists when James receives a vision of himself dying, shaking him to his core.

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Sal and Terry double cross Ray and attempt to steal the diamonds from James. This pivotal midway point picks up the pace of the movie and starts the first time-loop.

The first iteration of the time loops ends when Angela, not James, dying. Elliot injects James with a time-travel serum, sending James back in time. Elliot hopes James can change the events that just transpired.

James tries to save Angela’s life, but no matter how many times he attempts to change the outcome, she still dies. He nearly gives in to his earlier belief that “life happens beyond our control.”

James persists one last time to try to save Angela. He sacrifices himself. Angela survives, thus ending the loop.

Adrian Glynn McMorran as James, dying at the end of Volition
Adrian Glynn McMorran as James, dying at the end of Volition

At the very end of the film, we hear James repeat the same quote from the beginning of the movie.

“They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.” Windshield wipers move across a car’s windshield slowly.

“I wish it were that simple.”

Scenes of the night repeat, unfolding in single, brief glimpses. In the final scene, we see the bright blue eyes of a young boy – a young James.

James did die in the car accident with his mother when he was seven. The entirety of the movie was James’s life flashing before his eyes – the life that would have been, had he not died.

Cast

  • Adrian Glynn McMorran as James
  • Magda Apanowicz as Angela
  • Aleks Paunovic as Terry
  • John Cassini as Ray
  • Frank Cassini as Sal
  • Bill Marchant as Elliot

Time Travel is Nothing New, but Somehow Volition is Different

Think of the wide assortment of big-budget time travel movies released over the last ten years:

  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Interstellar (2014)
  • Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
  • Looper (2012)

Writer and director Tony Dean Smith managed to create an award-winning movie at a fraction of the cost of those listed above. No, it didn’t make the kind of money an Avenger’s movie does. But it’s still a thrilling movie full of twists and turns I thoroughly enjoyed – especially the surprise ending.

Do you like finding hidden gems? Check out this post for a hidden gem on Netflix!

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