Here's another one that looked more exciting in the previews than it turned out to be. Out of Time is supposed to be a crime and suspense thriller. It hardly thrills, there is minimal suspense, but there is an abundance of crime (no, not me getting ripped off at the box-office again - this was a $4.75, 10 AM special). The movie is not bad, that isn't to say that it is good either. I will just say that it is. For those of you requiring further description, I'll continue to say mediocre, unexciting, and slow on the uptake.
The plot: The sheriff of a sleepy town in the Florida Keys finds himself tangled in a murder investigation being, conducted by his wife, of a woman who he was banging and her suspicious husband who was a fellow police officer. There also is a lot of drug money involved. --- OK, now with names and explanations: Banyan Key Sheriff Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington) spends his day drinking on the job at the small precinct of his island paradise. It could be to dull the pain of his separation from his wife, Detective Alexandra Whitlock (Eva Mendes), who sees him only to move stuff from their houseboat. When he isn't imbibing at his desk, he is swinging his night stick in the bed of Anne (Sanaa Lathan) , wife of Officer Chris Harris (Dean Cain), a former pro football player, and current wife beater. Whitlock is riding high after busting a drug lord of half a million dollars, which is locked away in the BKPD safe awaiting transfer to the DEA, but comes crashing down when he learns that Ann is dying of cancer. He decides to give her the evidence money to seek treatment in Switzerland, figuring the feds won't be asking for it anytime soon. The plan is to replace it with money obtained from selling Ann's insurance policy, help her kick the crab, and still have a little left over, with no one being the wiser.
Well, if you haven't already guessed it, things don't go as planned. Ann can't sell the policy, an arsonist kills her and her husband, and a nosey neighbor fingers Matt as the suspect. To further complicate things, Matt is listed as the beneficiary on the policy, the DEA comes looking for the feria, and his wife is leading the investigation, -- oh and guess who has motive, opportunity, and no alibi?
This should be great !! Yes, this most definitely SHOULD have been, but it was not. Why do you ask? Because the way the director carried it out was utterly ludicrous. 'Illogical' is the key word here. If you stopped for one second to think about what was happening at any point in the movie, you would realize that there is no way the story could have survived past the opening scene. I suppose that is what director, Carl Franklin wanted, and moreover needed us to do. NONE of the scenes that occurred in the movie could stand alone in credibility, let alone support any subsequent actions. Perhaps it if were more tightly wrapped, the idea could have come off better. This has got to be one of the most convoluted plots I've seen. The movie tries to pull you in with little twists and turns, and surprises around every corner, but the more it tries the more it fails. The actions of the characters defy good judgment by any means and any comatose patient would be able to pull a bull shit flag on this story. The fact that the film's writer, Dave Collards only experience was writing for "Family Guy", is clearly evident as Out of Time has a path that seems straight out of a Fox animated series. OK, that's enough, I am starting to get mad…
Now, for the acting….. I think it was far better than the plot, which isn't saying much. Denzel Washington is Denzel Washington, as usual. He gives the same drive to this role as he does in all of his roles. He is not as dramatic as he was in Training Day but still, he came through. Eva Mendes is smoldering and gives off a good air as the curious and overly-forgiving wife. I am sorry that her character wasn't stronger, more suspicious, or angry that her husband was having a thinly veiled affair right in front of her. Also, her being a detective, you wonder why she didn't naturally look deeper into things and notice that her husband was acting weird, both personally and professionally. You especially have to question what the hell made her take the unusual 180 degree turn at the end of the movie. Sanaa Lathan did OK here and the fact that she had AFD (see notes) didn't hurt her onscreen presence either. Her character had a more believable sexual chemistry with Washington, which is was non-existent between he and Mendes. Dean Cain was sturdy as the intimidating and abusive husband, and looked mighty fine. John Billingsly, the local medical examiner and Matt's friend successfully injects comic relief into the movie, which is one of the few things that saved it from being a total disaster.
Kiddies, Out of Time is definately a matinee, not a full pricer. I think you can do fine waiting for it to come out on video.
Grade: A- for acting; C for execution; A for cinematography; Overall: B-
Notes: AFD = = Ass For Days
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: Take your time seeing this one.
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