Out of Time

Denzel Washington stars in an implausible but entertaining Florida-based film noir

Director: Carl Franklin

Starring: Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan

Website: http://www.outoftimemovie.com/

Plot Summary: In a small Florida town, Chief of Police Matt Whitlock (Washington) finds himself investigating, alongside his ex-wife (Mendes), the murder of a woman he was secretly seeing (Lathan). Racing to uncover a murky trail of stolen money, drugs and deceit, Whitlock has to stay two steps ahead of his own detectives, because all the evidence points to him.

Review: Like a trashy detective novel you can't put down, Out of Time keeps you hooked, even though you're well aware of its shortcomings.

Director Carl Franklin keeps things ticking over nicely, nimbly making his way through a storyline strewn with unlikely coincidences and clunky plot devices at a pace where you don't have too much time to pick holes.

Looking back, you might find yourself questioning the wisdom of a justice system that partners policemen with their ex-wives or wondering if there really are homicide detectives as bootylicious as Eva Mendes but it's easy enough to suspend disbelief while you're in the cinema.

(That said, some shenanigans involving a Photoshop-like computer program and a fax machine are particularly silly.)

Much of the credit for making Out of Time work must also go to Washington who, even when he's just punching the clock (as he is here), always brings star quality to the screen.

Sanaa Lathan, playing Whitlock's lover, Ann Merai Harrison, gives some depth to a complicated role, Dean Cain (Superman in the TV series Lois & Clark) is impressively sleazy as her abusive husband and John Billingsley raises a laugh or two as a somewhat sketchy medical examiner.

None of this makes Out of Time the kind of movie you should drop everything and rush off to see but if you're looking to kill a couple of hours, you can do much worse than this undemanding slice of Elmore Leonard Lite.

PTV Rating: 3 out of 5

Czech Premiere: Thursday, June 3rd, 2004
Czech Title: Presumpce viny ("Presumption of Guilt")
Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes

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