Following an unfortunate incident in which six people lost their lives, guilt-ridden Chicago psychiatrist and hostage negotiator Karen Warren (Australian model Kylie Travis) quits her job and goes driving cross country to get her head together.
Problems arise when Karen wrecks her car in the middle of a swelteringly hot and empty stretch of barren Texas highway.
She is given a lift by a boorish, obnoxious and hot-tempered redneck called Frank Booth (Jim Belushi) who is travelling with his timid, browbeaten wife Rayanne (Shannon Whirry).
Frank is on his way to sell computer chips which he obtained illegally and, during a bickering discussion in the car, he finds out Rayanne is cheating on him. He kills her in a fit of rage.
Karen runs from Frank and escapes, seeking shelter in a secret government compound where token nerdy scientist Brian (Frank Whaley) is experimenting with time travel.
Karen goes back twenty minutes in time and tries to stop Frank from killing Rayanne – but with even more disastrous results.
Determined to get things right, Karen goes back in time again. And then again when things go even more awry and more and more people die in more spectacular ways.
While the plot sounds like a sci-fi version of Groundhog Day, Retroactive has a breakneck pace and is slickly photographed, and the acting is consistently superb.
M. Emmet Walsh
Robbie Thibaut Jr.