Thursday, 24 November 2016

BITE-SIZED REVIEW: Out of Time (Carl Franklin, 2003)

This neat little thriller was one of the first discoveries I made on Netflix, and it's become a weekend favourite.

Denzel Washington stars as the easy-going small-town police chief Matthias Lee Whitlock. He's currently going through a divorce from his wife, Alex (Eva Mendez), a cop. He has moved on to having an affair with local woman Anne (Sanaa Lathan). Her husband is a thuggish ex-foootball player-turned-security guard (Dean Cain). 

When the movie starts, Whitlock is in a good mood. He has just made a major drug bust -- including $550,000 in cash. Whitlock's easy life is upturned when Anne learns she has terminal cancer. Resigned to her fate, Anne makes him the sole beneficiary of her million dollar life insurance policy. In an attempt to get her an experimental treatment that may save her life, Whitlock lends her the drug money.

And then Anne and her husband die in a suspicious house fire. Suddenly, Whitlock finds himself scrambling to a) figure out what is going on and b) stay ahead of the police -- especially his increasingly suspicious wife. 

Out of Time is directed by the underrated Carl Franklin (One False MoveDevil in a Blue Dress). He keeps things moving, and handles the more ludicrous set pieces with a sure hand. Washington is his usual charming self, and the rest of the cast are solid.

Out of Time is the cinematic equivalent of one of those thrillers you read on vacation. While it doesn't re-invent the wheel, it features a solid premise, good characters and an escalating sense of tension. In other words, it does the job it sets out to do, nothing more and nothing less. 

An enjoyable diversion and worth a look.

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