''Time Chasers'' (aka ''Tangents'') is a 1994 science fiction film that follows the adventures of an amateur inventor who goes through time with his female accomplice to stop an evil megacorporation intent on changing history for profit.

Physics teacher and amateur pilot Nick Miller has finally completed his quest of enabling time travel, via a Commodore 64 and his small airplane. With a teacher's salary, however, this has left him almost bankrupt, but an ominous television commercial for a company called [=GenCorp=] inspires him to seek funding from the private enterprise. Nick uses a ruse to bring both a [=GenCorp=] executive and a reporter from a local paper on a trip through time, but is pleasantly surprised to learn that his old high school classmate & eventual love interest, Lisa Hansen, is the reporter in question. One unimpressive trip to 2041 later and [=Gencorp's=] executive, the [[RealMenWearPink fashionable]] Matthew Paul, quickly arranges Nick a meeting with the company's transparently evil CEO, J.K. Robertson. Impressed by the potential of time travel, Roberston offers Nick a licensing agreement on the technology, over [[GenreSavvy Lisa's misgivings]].

Still, the reporter agrees to go on a date with Nick, and the couple enjoys a quick trip to a '50s malt shop before going back to 2041, which is suddenly [[BadFuture a total dump]]. After a close encounter with two bands of wasteland survivors, Nick and Lisa confront Robertson, who stubbornly refuses to not destroy the future and tries to get them arrested. The heroes escape and attempt to go back in time to convince Nick's past self not to give [=GenCorp=] the time travel technology, and [[TimeyWimeyBall things become much more complicated]].

Turns out Roberston and Paul have a second time transport, and attack Nick and Lisa's plane on arrival in the near-past. Lisa is killed and the plane brought down, so Future-Nick tries to get to Past-Nick before Future-Robertson can. Past-Lisa is diverted from Past-Nick's demonstration and ends up investigating Future-Lisa's death in a plane crash, then she and Past-Nick meet up and start time traveling to figure out what the hell is going on. Meanwhile, Future-Robertson and Future-Paul abduct Future-Nick (and a gormless mechanic) and inexplicably take them back to [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution the Revolutionary War]] to kill them.

Luckily Past-Nick and Lisa show up with some minutemen to save the day, only for Future-Robertson to counter them with Redcoats, and things really go to hell. Future-Nick is killed thwarting Future-Robertson's escape attempt, leaving all the future duplicates dead, and creating enough of a time paradox to ensure that Past-Nick destroys his invention before it can do any damage, thus undoing the events of the film. On the upside, Nick and Lisa meet in a grocery store. On the downside, Nick and Lisa get an innocent man fired from his job, presumably ruining his life.

For the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' version, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S08E21TimeChasers episode recap page]].

!!Trope Chasers:

* AliensInCardiff: Vermont. Yes, ''Vermont''. Of course, the film was produced by a video editing service based in Vermont, who decided to try their hands at filmmaking.
* AluminumChristmasTrees: Castleton State College (now Castleton University), of which Nick sports his iconic shirt, is a real school in Rutland County, Vermont, where the film was shot.
* ArtisticLicenseMedicine: Lisa's body is identified by dental records. Except, unlike something like fingerprints, there actually isn't any master repository of dental records; to get them, you first need to have some idea who the person is so you can get the records from their dentist. And seeing as the Lisa of this timeline is still alive, it doesn't seem likely they would think it was her.
* BadFuture: The villain uses his own time machine to cause this. Not so much bad as messy.
* BrickJoke: The skydiving granny.
* CardCarryingVillain: The tycoon. He refuses not to use the time machine as "a weapon" even though he finds out it results in the future being turned into a dystopic shithole.
* ClickHello: How Nick first encounters survivors in the bad 2041.
* CloseEnoughTimeline: Apparently, the deaths of several extra minutemen and the appearance of a wrecked plane and several automatic weapons in 1777 had no appreciable effect on history.
* CompoundInterestTimeTravelGambit: Nick could have just used the compound interest to pay for his plane and never need to make a deal with an evil corporation or share it with anyone else. When the corporate stooge comes up with the idea, Nick and Lisa have a bizarrely disgusted reaction, as if the guy had proposed something ghastly and evil. This was likely intended to prevent this plot hole from rendering the rest of the plot moot.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: JK Robertson. In fact, [[ObviouslyEvil his face, voice, posture, his entire demeanor]], is so forthrightly villainous from the moment he first appears on screen, and it bears out when he discovers that he has destroyed the future, and refuses to not destroy the future. While he does comment to Nick that he is aware of the BadFuture and intends to avoid it, before he dies he expresses that he doesn't understand Nick's obsession with saving the world when he could have just escaped into the past and lived away from it - suggesting that J.K. was probably planning to do just that and not deal with the consequences of his actions.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Let's just say that despite the poster art above, this movie is not the rip-roaring action flick it might seem.
--> '''Crow''': The Adventures of the Average People!
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Nick steals a car...and promptly crashes it.
-->'''Nick:''' I don't drive!
** Doubles as EpicFail as he manages to drive about 100 feet before crashing into a pile of bicycles and flipping the car on its side. The actual owner of the car easily catches up to him, ''on foot''. Nick then hops on a bicycle, which is what he should have done in the first place.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[HeroicSacrifice After crashing JK's plane and stranding them both in the past]], Nick is shot dead by Robertson - who is then promptly killed by falling plane wreckage. All within the space of 10 seconds.
* EmptyFridgeEmptyLife: Nick Miller's fridge is empty except for a head of lettuce (of indeterminate age). And, of course, maple syrup.
-->'''Crow''': Loser status confirmed.
* FashionDissonance: Lisa's business attire.
* FutureBadass: First timeline Nick from second timeline Nick's perspective. Sort of.
* GeniusBruiser: Subverted--Nick looks like a bodybuilding nerd, but gets beat up fairly easily and doesn't seem nearly as smart as inventing the time machine would imply.
* HelpYourselfInTheFuture: Thanks to SplitScreen technology.
* HeroStoleMyBike: Nick steals a car and immediately crashes it because he doesn't drive cars. He does better on the bicycle he steals next. He then steals a ''boat.''
* HistoricalInJoke: The major Revolutionary battle shown was the Battle of Hubbardton, the only American Revolution battle fought in Vermont.
* HollywoodCostuming: Several of the Revolutionary War soldiers are wearing 20th century eyeglasses.
* ILied: When Matthew has reservations over killing in cold blood, J.K, initially lets him go - then promptly [[KickTheDog kills him]].
* ImprobableAimingSkills: JK shooting up Nick's aircraft (and Lisa). It's not ''impossible,'' but the reason fixed armament was added to fighter aircraft is because hand weapons (like pistols) were ''almost'' impossible to hit another aircraft with - and planes not much larger or faster than the Citabria piloted by Nick.
* InsistentTerminology: It's not a time machine, it's a time ''transport.''
* IsThatAThreat: Delivered by Robertson when Nick tells him he's going to end his part of their deal.
* LanternJawOfJustice: Nick Miller, when he makes out with Lisa.
* [[LaserGuidedKarma Laser-Guided INSTANT Karma!]] JK Robertson shoots Future!Nick to death. And is ''immediately'' crushed to death by his own falling aircraft.
* MagicFloppyDisk: Eight of them hold the key to time travel!
* NonActionGuy: Nick is owned in pretty much every physical confrontation in the entire film.
* ObviouslyEvil: JK Robertson. His favorite outfit is a pitch black suit with blood red tie, and he practically oozes smarm at all times.
* OffscreenTeleportation: Near the end of the movie, when Nick forces Robertson's plane to crash into a tree, we're treated to a [[LeaveTheCameraRunning two-minute scene]] of Nick slowly climbing down as the plane creaks and threatens to fall. As soon as he gets to the ground, Robertson comes out from around the tree like it was no big deal.
* OurHeroIsDead: Several of the principal characters are killed in the course of the film...except that because there are multiple timelines active, the final timeline sees all of these characters survive and thus preventing time paradox duplicates from running around and ruining things.
* OurTimeTravelIsDifferent: It involves a lot of planes, for starters.
* PlotHole: Where did Nick get the gun that he pulls on the two fishermen? It also disappears as suddenly as it appears.
* PreMortemOneLiner: J.K. loves these.
** Before shooting Matt: "Matt? [[PreMortemOneLiner You're fired.]]" (''{{U|nsoundEffect}}zi!'')
** Before shooting Nick: "Connect me to this! (''[[UnsoundEffect Glock]]!'')"
*** ...sadly, he dies a few seconds later. And too suddenly to try and deliver one of these to himself.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** When J.K. is refusing to stop the project, Nick calls him a "Son of a bitch!"
** Another happens when J.K., trying to escape a small squad of minutemen Nick has tricked into believing he is a British spy, ends up running into the entire colonial army.
-->'''J.K.''': Oh ''shit''!
* PunchClockVillain: When Lisa fakes an imminent plane crash, [=GenCorp=] mooks rush off to ''offer assistance'', allowing Nick to sneak into the airport.
** Actually, they were ''ordered'' to by airport security, and one of them remained to deal with Nick.
* RealityEnsues: One of its saving graces. Nick is the film's action hero but he's just a physics professor who rides a bike everywhere and flies planes. [[NonActionGuy So he can run around real good but isn't much good in a fight and crashes a car moments after stealing it during a chase.]]
* RealMenWearPink: Matthew Paul, action executive and often seen wearing a bright pink suit. Subverted in that he's mostly a wuss. Though our action hero wears a pink button down for part of the movie.
* ResignationsNotAccepted: J.K. shows how much of a BadBoss he is to Matthew.
* ReversePolarity: How the plane travels back through time...apparently.
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: Nick learns that his time travel technology and the sale of it to J.K. Robertson will cause havoc on the world and destroy it within the next fifty years due to its abuse. He and Lisa attempt to find a way to prevent the event from happening, creating the conflict of the film.
* ShoutOut: When Nick and Lisa are walking through the post-apocalyptic Vermont, a torn ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' poster can clearly be seen on one of the walls.
* ShutUpKirk: After Nick's big speech about how everyone is connected, JK shoots him dead.
* TakeOurWordForIt: We only see a grainy, computer-screen image of future Rutland's magnificent skyline, while Lisa comments that "it looks like there was a war here" in the bad future, despite a conspicuous lack of rubble, craters, bullet holes, bodies, derelict tanks...clearly, the film didn't have the budget for anything else.
** The "normal future" scenes were shot in Burlington--Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks are clearly visible through the windows in a way they aren't in Rutland (which is south of Lake Champlain) at a Papa Gino's that didn't make it far past the year 2000.
* TemporalParadox: Actively sought out by the protagonist to keep everything from going wrong, though he refers to them as "tangents."
** TitleDrop: The original title of the film was ''Tangents.''
* TimeTravel: Kinda the whole point, really.
* TookALevelInBadass: Future-Nick, who loses his glasses and watches his girlfriend get shot and blown up, is considerably more hardened by the end of the movie than his past-self. Tragically, it's this version of him that dies.
* TrainEscape: Done with a tractor and wagon.
* UniversalDriversLicense: Parodied. Nick attempts to steal a car in order to escape pursuers who are driving a truck... then immediately wipes out because he doesn't actually know how to drive.
* VerbThis: Connect Me To This!
* YouHaveFailedMe: When Matt won't commit murder for his boss, his boss kills him.