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04/25/2005 Entry: "Belated Capsule Review: Out of Time"
Posted by CKL @ 09:08 AM PST

Out of Time is a stupid, stupid movie which wants to be The Spanish Prisoner, but doesn't know enough about anything to be convincing. Most of the movie consists of Denzel Washington's character, small-town police chief Matthias Whitlock, hiding his involvement in a crime from an out-of-town homicide detective. No less than two-thirds of the film is spent watching Matthias running around, tampering with evidence and lying through his teeth to keep his house of cards from crashing down around him.

I mean, seriously, this plot was old when it showed up in 1950s sitcoms. The best thing in the film is John Billingsley-- who, as Dr. Phlox, also happens to be the best thing about Star Trek: Enterprise-- and for the entire second half of the movie, I was hoping for him to say, "Matthias, you got some 'splainin' to do!" I guess the story is supposed to be surprising, even shocking, but I never cared enough about any of the characters, and the mechanics of the plot are patently absurd.

I admit, I've never seen another movie which tried to generate tension by pitting a fax machine against Photoshop. Unfortunately, the scene in question only works if you know nothing about computers or telephones. In fact, so many of the contrivances in the film involve technology not working the way it actually does-- cell phones that have a menu option to turn off voicemail, PDAs with instant wireless access anywhere-- that it was impossible for me to suspend disbelief. Besides which, just about everyone in the movie was dumb as a post, which annoys me to no end. Given a choice, I'd rather not waste my time or money watching stupid people.

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