Alidar Jarok wrote:
He was told that right at the beginning yes. But he changed his view and wanted to actively stop it. There would be no dramatic tension at all unless we believed he had at least a theoretical chance of succeeding. The movie led you to believe that the claims about it being a predestination paradox and impossible to change might be wrong - that it was, in fact, possible to change. That meant hope for both the character and the audience, at least on the first run through watching the movie.
Interesting points. I never thought Cole could change history, nor that the drama depended on it. I thought that poor Cole's heart was overriding his head; he was so desperate to stay with Kathryn in the "present" where he actually found happiness for the first time that he deluded himself into thinking there was some hope. But the ambiguities and possibilities of interpretation are intentional, I think, and help make the movie so interesting.
Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
If, in the original film, they at least TRIED to change history - but failed in the attempt - then that's something, at least. But to never try in the first place? That is unrelentingly bleak and nihilistic, and not something I would ever enjoy watching. To simply dismiss the deaths of billions of people with a hand wave, a sort of "Meh, we can't change things, and should never even bother trying", is almost as bad as killing them directly.
That assumes that something might have been done, and there is no reason to suppose that at all. The scientists who invent time travel presumably know how it works, and it is made clear that what already happened is always going to happen. Why waste time in the past trying to stop what can't be stopped instead of gathering information that may allow the future to cure the plague? And at any rate, if one of the time travelers was able to change history, any of his innumerable actions in the past could alter things, there would be no way to know the effect or control it.
The first thing the movie tells the viewer is that five billion people died, so I think there is a certain baseline of bleakness about it, but nihilistic I don't see at all.