Out Of Time

Directed by Carl Franklin

> > Dec 2003

Out Of Time - Directed by Carl Franklin
By James KeastCommon sense dictates that thrillers are dependent on their twisty, surprising plot turns as they wiz around corners and upend expectations en route to a final, seemingly logical conclusion. But now that Night Shymalan has practically copyrighted the big twist ending, audiences are conditioned to expect them. Out of Time has plenty. It features a small town police chief (Denzel Washington) being framed for murder; the chief investigating detective is his estranged wife and the chief, well aware that all the evidence points straight at him, races against time to get his involvement untangled before the detective and the feds find him out. In the hands of a less compelling actor or a less stylish director, Out of Time would be a by-the-book open and shut case of over-plotted, overheated Florida swamp. But put Denzel Washington up there, and his confident, assured performance picks you up and carries you through the film's soggier plot points with ease. Reunited once again with sometime actor-turned-director Carl Franklin (they made another underrated noir-ish thriller, Devil In a Blue Dress, together), Washington and Franklin clearly click. The humid environment seems to mesh perfectly with the dark shadows and blue tones Franklin loves so much. Add rising star Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious) as the detective/ex-wife and Superman Dean Cain (as a baddie cast against type) and this pot-boiler has more than enough momentum for a Saturday evening at home. It's not Hitchcock — audience familiarity pretty much assures that in by-the-book flicks like this — but Franklin and Washington team up to make a watchable and compelling piece of popcorn cinema. Carl Franklin's knowledge of the genre and smooth, easy tones make for a reasonable feature-length commentary, but featurettes and screen tests are fairly rote. Plus: character profiles, outtakes, photo gallery, more. (MGM)
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