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TICKING CLOCK
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Reviewed by: Zombie Boy

Directed by: Ernie Barbarash

Starring:
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Neal McDonough
Nicki Aycox

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Lewis Hicks is an investigative reporter who finds himself on the business end of a serial killer with a strong agenda and seemingly supernatural powers.
Is it good movie?
Ticking Clock is not a very imaginative film, even given its sci-fi and horror themes. Lewis Hicks is your typically amoral investigative reporter, and he’s got a drinking problem and an angry, estranged wife who withholds time with his little boy as punishment when he pisses her off. And just in case you don’t get your RDA of cliché from that, the serial killer is a man who is systematically killing all the people who he feels caused his childhood to suck. Hicks is also the kind of character who insists on acting like an ass and constantly making his own situation ten times worse because he’s so stupid.

But despite these deficiencies, the movie almost works. While Cuba Gooding Jr., as Hicks, is a total waste of space, Neal McDonough’s villain, James Keene, is a properly creepy-charismatic madman. The horror elements are well-played, what with people in bathtubs full of blood and flayed-open Silence of the Lambs-style and such. The sci-fi element - and its necessary conventions - which I will not give away here because it's so bizarre you need to come by it on your own, also almost work. It tries hard, but in the end just can’t support the necessary suspension of disbelief.

And the ending is another problem. When the film comes to its logical conclusion, I was fine with it. It was bittersweet, and logical inside the framework of the plot. Then they shot it all to hell with a tacked-on, feel-good second ending that can not be supported even by the logic of a fantastical film. Everybody wins, everybody’s happy…but the audience. This movie has a lot of good points but, like the tragically misguided ending, kept shooting itself in the foot.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen. The photography is good, and the transfer is solid.

Audio: Dolby Digital, with subtitles in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Korean. Man, they really expected this DVD to get around.
The Extras
Nada. Bare bones release here.
Last Call
I’m not sure where the Oscar-winning Cuba Gooding, Jr. is, but he sure ain’t here. Watch Ticking Clock for the decent gore, the quick pace, and Neal McDonough’s creepy villain, but be prepared to stifle a few laughs when you find out his deal, and to hate the damned sappy ending. I’d say this one is a rental on a night when you’re super-bored.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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