Teenager Zak Gibbs (Jesse Bradford) finds a wristwatch among his father's inventions. He discovers the watch has the ability to freeze time in the world around him while he is able to move around freely. Armed with his new device Zak and his new friend, exchange student Francesca (Paula Garcés), start having fun in 'hypertime'. But Zac and Francesca are not alone; the evil head of Quantum Technologies, Henry Gates (Michael Biehn), will stop at nothing to recover Zak's watch and carry out his plan to rule the world.
Review by Louise Keller:
A hip ride into hyper-time, Clockstoppers is a lively and enjoyable adventure for all ages at any time. From its gee-whiz opening credits that take us into the inner workings of a watch, Clockstoppers is an old fashioned kind of story with the ultra tech cool of today’s special effects. And the effects are startling. In fact I knew the magic of the film had enveloped me, when I positively felt spooked when water stands still, and we can literally brush each drop away. While the storyline may be far-fetched, the notion of how we manage time is one that has fascinated us for years – be it in the guise of time travel, or indeed to have the option of stopping time and bottling up the moment. Don’t be surprised if Jesse Bradford makes it big in the star stakes – here, he shows plenty of charisma and appeal, while Paula Garcés is delightful as the Consul’s daughter. Michael Biehn, who despite the 50 films he has made, will always be remembered for his role in the Terminator films, makes a great baddie, and I really like Robin Thomas’ professor-dad, whose brilliance inspires him to spend time with genius students, rather than rebellious sons. Clockstoppers finds a great balance of wacky humour, stunning techno-effects, romance and a sense of good family values. I mean who wouldn’t stop the clock to avoid a speeding fine?
The best part of the Making Of featurette is when it deals with the special effects and how hypertime was achieved. Watching the cast working with wires and hearing the special effects technicians explain how certain effects were achieved is fascinating. But you will need to ignore the rather breathy, stylised narration. Scenes like the DJ dance party scene and when Zak is catapulted across the screen. With Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes at the helm, it is clear it was a happy set, with plenty of enthusiasm from all involved, irrespective of how many times a scene was shot.
Published August 7, 2003
Email this article
BUY IT HERE
CLOCKSTOPPERS: DVD (PG)
CAST: Jesse Bradford, Paula Garcés, French Stewart, Michael Biehn
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Frakes
SCRIPT: Rob Hedden, Andy Hedden, J. David Stem, David N. Weiss
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
PRESENTATION: English 5.1 Audio; 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
SPECIAL FEATURES: The Making of Clockstoppers' music video; trailer; tv spots
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Paramount
DVD RELEASE: August 7, 2003