Out Of Time

UK release date: Mar 26 2008

cast list

Denzel Washington
Eva Mendes
Sanaa Lathan
Dean Cain

directed by
Carl Franklin

Out Of Time is part of that classic staple of many a thriller – the wrong man accused. Right from the set-up we’re in familiar territory but the ever-reliable Denzel Washington makes it an easy ride.

Washington plays Matt Whitlock, the Chief of Police in a small Florida town. He is having an affair with the wife of an abusive ex-football player. When he discovers that she has cancer he is in shock, especially when he finds out how much the treatment costs. However, when a drugs bust brings in a large sum of money to the evidence locker, Matt comes with a plan. After giving the money to his lover, he is even more shocked to watch her house go up in flames, leaving him as the prime suspect.

Now Out of Time likes to think of itself as a modern day noir with several devilish twists. However in reality the twists are glaringly predictable and at times you feel as if this plot could have come from an above average episode of Columbo. Yet there’s enough tension and enjoyably drawn-out situations to make it worthwhile.

There are moments which feel reminiscent of the far superior Kevin Costner thriller No Way Out but they still produce an uncomfortable reaction. You’ll surely squirm with every possible chance of Matt getting found out and these moments alone make the film. Denzel Washington gives a typically great performance, although you sometimes feel he is almost above roles such as this (especially after nabbing an Oscar two years ago).

There is an added plot device of Washington having to work with his soon to be ex-wife, played by the rising starlet Eva Mendes. She gives a sparky performance, which results in some nice chemistry between her and Washington. However, Washington’s “comic” support soon becomes tiresome as does the filmmakers belief that we will find every one of the obvious twists to be a great surprise.

Despite an air of predictability Out of Time is still a highly entertaining thriller. Washington and Mendes are an engaging couple and there is enough tension to make the film an easy Saturday Night watch. Just don’t expect any surprises.

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