out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
Nick of Time
|*Also starring: ||Charles S. Dutton, Roma Maffia, Marsha Mason, Gloria Reuben, Courtney Chase, G.D. Spradlin, Peter Strauss||
Review by Dragan Antulov
2 stars out of 4
Hollywood in past decade wasn't known for experimenting,
especially not in movies that were supposed to be major studio
releases. However, there were some instances of Hollywood movies
that could be described as "experimental". NICK OF TIME, 1995
thriller directed by John Badham, uses "clever" plot gimmick that
would later be used in popular TV show 24.
Protagonist of the movie is Gene Watson (played by Johnny Depp),
accountant who arrives at Los Angeles train station accompanied
with his daughter Lynn (Courtney Chase). Because of his ordinary
looks he is picked by two individuals with sinister intentions - Mr.
Smith (played by Christopher Walken) and Ms. Jones (played by
Roma Maffia). Pretending to be policemen, they kidnap Lynn and
confront him simple choice - do exactly what he is told or his
daughter would die. Watson is given a gun, six bullets, name tag and
task of assassinating Eleanor Grant (played by Marsha Mason),
governor of California currently staying at one of Los Angeles hotels.
He must do it in less than 80 minutes and Mr. Smith occasionally
drops by in order to prevent him from alerting authorities. Watson
must quickly find some way out of this impossible situation and
along the way he is experiencing many unpleasant surprises.
NICK OF TIME is based on simple concept of "real time thriller" - all
the events on the screen are set in the time frame that corresponds
with movie's running time. This concept is intriguing, but it also
requires greater filmmaking skill than ordinary thrillers.
Moviemakers must compress characterisation and fill the movie with
non-stop action and not sacrifice credibility or pace in the process.
John Badham, director known for some fine action films, completes
that task very well, but his efforts are almost ruined by huge plot
holes in Patrick Sheane Duncan's script - murder conspiracy
presented in the film is so far-reaching that it really doesn't need
randomly selected and potentially dangerous triggerman. On the
other hand, Johnny Depp shows that he can handle action roles quite
well, while Christopher Walken eats another role of villain for
breakfast. As a result, NICK OF TIME is mostly satisfying movie
experience, as long as the audience remembers that it is more of an
experiment rather than movie by itself.
Copyright © 2003 Dragan Antulov
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