Out of Time
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Matt Whitlock (Washington) is a small town police chief involved in an investigation into the murder of his high school sweetheart (Lathan). What's worse, he's been secretly boinking her on the side and he's stolen half a millions bucks worth of evidence money to help her rebuild her life. And if that's not bad enough, all the evidence points straight to him and the lead detective on the case is also his ex-wife (Mendes).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Despite the convoluted storyline, this movie isn't as complicated as one would think and actually turns out to be quite entertaining. The small town of Banyan Key, Florida is a great setting for such a tale and the twists in the plot turn this into a pretty smart movie that will keep you guessing more than that stain you found on your pants. I'm not a big Denzel fan because I usually find him extremely boring, but if you're expecting a big departure from the Denzel you've seen in the past, you're in for a disappointment. He's just as righteous and lacking in emotion as ever (yup, only Denzel could be righteous and boring while orchestrating a half-million dollar heist!) I was impressed, however, by both Eva Mendes and Dean Cain (the latter starring as the dead girl's cuckold husband). Mendes was everything Jennifer Esposito tried in vain to be in DON'T SAY A WORD. Smart, fast-talking, believable and last but not least, drop-dead gorgeous! It was a happy surprise too since I rolled my eyes at the first thoughts of Mendes as a homicide detective. Cain, who seems much more effective when he plays sleazebags, also pulled aces as a crooked ex-football player.
As a whole, there's very little to dislike about this film. Director Carl Franklin kept it moving at a pace quick enough to keep viewers involved, but managed never to miss any important details and with a running time under two hours, it's easy to watch. There are a few awkward moments though, namely the ones involving Mendes and Washington. I didn't really buy into their whole "amicable separation" bit and could have done without the whole thing. The climax of the film also felt a little sub-par as compared to the rest. To have an engaging and intelligent film end up in such a lackluster way felt a bit forced and if anything, this part could have used some polish. There were also a couple of characters I didn't really swallow, such as the goofy medical examiner (John Billingsley) who steals beer from suspects' fridges and wears Bermuda shorts to work, but drunken ME's aside, OUT OF TIME makes for some pretty entertaining stuff on a rainy weekend and a couple of hours of Eva Mendes might go a long way in explaining that stain I mentioned above!
Starting with a full-length audio commentary by director Carl Franklin, this DVD has a few goodies to offer, but the menu is really rather limited. Franklin sounds pretty enthusiastic on his commentary and goes on in a pretty interesting way about his filmmaking experience with this project. It's nothing out of the ordinary, but he does, at least, manage not to be boring.
There's a 12-minute featurette entitled "Out of Time: Crime Scene" which discusses the film itself, with a focus on the Florida locations. It's a bit fluffy and there's no real content on it, but it's okay if you liked the movie. It's followed by some Character Profiles, little clips in which the main characters in the film are elaborated on. I've copied the Eva Mendes clip on an endless loop to play on my TV forever.
Next up are two outtakes, both of which contain some flubbed lines and both of which are quite forgettable and screen tests for Sanaa Lathan and Dean Cain. There's also a quick stills gallery and the theatrical trailer.
A more than decent film with a less than average DVD make for a strong rental recommendation on this one. It could definitely lose its punch the second time around so there's no real gain in buying it, but it's still worthy of a look. Now if Denzel can just find one more facial expression, I might eventually be won over!