Out of Time

A Film Review By The Mike

Rating:PG-13, but I surely felt the first 20 minutes alone warranted an R rating
Starring: Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Dean Cain
Directed By: Carl Franklin

Final Grade:

There’s not an actor working that I dislike watching more than Denzel Washington. In every second he’s on screen he can be seen mugging for the camera, trying to look like he is indeed the coolest cat in the world. This occurs not in one of his movies, and not even a majority of his movies, but in ALL of his movies. He’s a good enough actor to know not to look directly into the camera, but he can’t stop from making sure he’s as good looking as humanly possible in every frame of every shot. And he yells too much, and has a really bad look of stupification, which he overuses often. I despise him.

That being said, it was very difficult for me to watch Out of Time with an open mind. Denzel’s newest film, like most of his previous films, is simply a rehash of films others have done better. There are elements borrowed from everything from Rebecca to Charade to The Big Easy to (Denzel and director Carl Franklin’s previous collaboration) Devil in a Blue Dress. The unoriginality level is up to par with most of the “thrillers” Hollywood’s given us lately.

I can get past borrowing elements to form a plot, but the problem with Out of Time is that the plot is too illogical to matter. When a police officer knows he didn’t commit a crime and can explain what he was involved with, he should come clean and help solve the case, especially when he begins to know more about the case. But in this film’s realm, the “hero” must appear to be the stupidest person alive, because that’s the easiest way to make suspense. It’s also the cheapest shortcut, one that shouldn’t be used by such talent. I applauded when Denzel’s character explains his actions at the end of the film by saying that “he’s stupid”, but his remorse wasn’t enough to make me forgive the rest of the film.

OK, I’m sounding mean – time for some niceties. I actually wasn’t as annoyed by Denzel’s presence in this film, as the project had low enough ambitions that he couldn’t ruin it for me. There are some good points to his performance, particularly in his relations with his friend Chae, who is played by John Billingsly in what is by far the film’s most entertaining performance. Billingsly’s humorous antics almost save the film at times. But just almost.

The most impressive aspect of Out of Time is its co-star, Eva Mendes. I think I love her. She’s really freakin’ hot. I’ve seen her in three movies now, and I feel we’re ready for the next stage in our relationship. If she would have been the confused hero and Denzel would have been the straight-laced detective, I probably would have forgiven the illogicalities. Well, only if they replaced Denzel.

By the way, Don Cheadle would have been perfect in this role. If he’d been here instead of Denzel this film wouldn’t feel like such a retread. And while we’re on the topic of casting, who was the genius (Note Sarcasm) that thought Dean “Superman-on-TV” Cain would make a good Redneck/ex-Pro Quarterback/Wife Beater? He’s painful to watch, with a capital PAIN.

When the dust settles, we’ve been sentenced to another mediocre Denzel Washington film, and that’s what we get. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t, and Denzel manages to play “the Denzel Washington character” perfectly for the twentieth straight film. I guess it’s not the worst film I’ve seen this year, but it wasn’t worth my time either. Well, except for Eva. She’s worth any time I have.

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