OUT OF TIME is a cute but way too predicable crime drama starring the always
wonderful Denzel Washington. Director Carl Franklin, who was so edgy and
brilliant in ONE FALSE MOVE, seems to have stopped trusting his instincts.
Working from a pedestrian script by David Collard, in which every major turn is
easy to guess, Franklin insists on telegraphing every twist.
The story concerns Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Washington), who is
having an affair with Anne Harrison (Sanaa Lathan). Anne's jealous husband,
Chris (Dean Cain), is an ex-quarterback who now works at a menial job at the
morgue. As you know from the trailers, something bad happens, throwing
suspicion on the chief. As he busily tries to conceal evidence, his
estranged-wife, Alex (Eva Mendes), a homicide detective, is one just one step
behind him in her investigation of the crime.
The film is consistently funny with John Billingsley stealing the movie, as
Chae, a hilarious slob who is the local coroner. In one of his many humorous
observations, Chae says that one of Alex's men looks like "the love child of
Barney Fife and Joe Friday."
The film reaches its low point in a setup scene in which our audience was
screaming out the obvious advice, "Don't go there!"
The forgettable film is almost saved by Washington's usual class, and
Billingsley's lack of any.
OUT OF TIME runs 1:49. The film is rated PG-13 for "sexual content, violence
and some language" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.
My son Jeffrey, age 14, thought the film had way too many coincidences but
enjoyed it nonetheless. Giving it ***, he said that he liked the mix of comedy
and action, and he especially liked the performances by Washington and
Copyright © 2003 Steve Rhodes