Lonely computer programmer Alberta (Christina Jacquelyn Calph) inadvertently brings a dead 1960s rock star Russell Aquarius (Michael Ursu) back to life in â€śThe Second Age of Aquarius,â€ť a silly yet amusing comedy from director and co-writer Staci Layne Wilson. The film blends elements of science fiction and fantasy into whatâ€™s essentially a classic time traveling, fish out of water story. Itâ€™s a premise that lends itself well to a micro-budget indie like this.
This is a very low budget, poorly acted movie. The cast, while charming, turns in mediocre performances. Their tendency to overact is distracting, with large gestures and clunky line delivery. The only one that executes it well is Ursu, but only because his groovy hippie character is so appealing. Watching him turn on the charm with Russellâ€™s retro sexist sensibilities is funny.
When he wakes up in Albertaâ€™s bed, Russell thinks sheâ€™s a groupie and fears he may be in the middle of a very bad acid trip. Heâ€™s confused by microwaves (and refers to nuked chicken nuggets as â€śastronaut foodâ€ť), but is thrilled that â€śgrassâ€ť is legal. These are the types of gags that you expect in a film like this, and they are funny no matter your sense of humor. The jokes are elevated by Ursuâ€™s wide-eyed, exaggerated performance.
The film uses a narrator in a â€śBehind the Musicâ€ť style documentary thatâ€™s playing in the background as a device to tell Russellâ€™s story, which is clever and works well. Turns out the rock icon was electrocuted on stage in front of his adoring fans during a 1970s concert when he was just 27 years old. He may not know how he got to the year 2022 or where exactly he is, but it doesnâ€™t take long for Russell to turn on his seductive charm. Sparks fly with Alberta, turning this into a weird romantic comedy of sorts.
The film runs out of story after about 45 minutes, and if only this had been a short, it wouldâ€™ve been a lot more successful. Itâ€™s a fun idea for a movie thatâ€™s dragged out too long by a cast that doesnâ€™t have the talent or star power to carry it all the way to the finish line.
The parts that donâ€™t work in â€śThe Second Age of Aquariusâ€ť flop mightily but the stuff that does work, works well. This one earns a very mild recommendation solely on the premise and the charm of Ursu.