Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Audio commentary; Out of Time: Crime
Scene; Outtakes; Character profiles. Screen tests; Photo gallery;
DENZEL Washington reunites with Devil In A Blue Dress director,
Carl Franklin, for a smart little thriller about a police chief
who finds himself framed for a murder, after doing the wrong thing
for the right reasons.
Out of Time is the type of thriller which feels familiar from
the start, but which treads an intriguing, taut and completely
enjoyable path towards its somewhat inevitable conclusion, while
also providing another effortless showcase of Washingtons
It is the cinematic equivalent of a pulp novel, a neo-noirish
adventure that keeps viewers on their toes throughout, even though
more seasoned members of the audience may see through its bigger
twists and turns.
Washington stars as Matt Lee Whitlock, the chief of police for
the small town of Banyan Key, in Florida, who is having an affair
with Sanaa Lathans battered wife, Anne Merai.
When she is diagnosed with cancer, Whitlock makes the dubious
decision to give her the confiscated funds from a drugs bust he
is storing, so that she can get away from her abusive husband
(Dean Cain) and receive the treatment she requires.
But when the married couples corpses are pulled from the
remains of their burned down house the following day, the ensuing
murder hunt points directly towards Whitlock, who faces a race
against time to prevent himself from becoming the chief suspect.
To complicate matters still further, the case is being investigated
by his soon-to-be ex-wife, Alex (Eva Mendes), while the DEA want
to reclaim the confiscated drug money for use as evidence in a
Despite a somewhat laboured opening, director, Franklin, does
a superb job of cranking up the tension once the main thrust of
the movie gets underway, as the odds become increasingly stacked
against Whitlocks honest police chief emerging as the fall
Several of the resulting scenarios, in which Whitlock attempts
to stay one step ahead of his own department, while throwing Alex
off the scent, are extremely well played, while the chemistry
between Washington and Mendes does a suitably convincing job of
mixing their feelings for each other, with a cat-and-mouse element
that keeps things feisty.
Lathan fares less well, however, as Whitlocks love-interest,
coming over more annoying than sympathetic, while Cain feels mostly
awkward, aside from one great exchange with Washington in a bar,
during the films early stages.
And while the so-called explosive finale feels somewhat
routine by comparison to the truly great noir thrillers, the fun,
as is so often the case nowadays, comes from seeing how Washington
manoeuvres himself out of one difficult situation from the next.
Fans of the genre, and Washington in particular, shouldnt