OUT OF TIME
Matt Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington) is the chief of police in the small town of Banyan Key, Florida. But life is complicated: his homicide detective wife Alex (Eva Mendes) is about to serve him with divorce papers, and he is having a torrid affair with his college sweetheart Ann (Sanaa Lathan), now married to abusive Chris (Dean Cain). When Ann reveals she is seriously ill, Matt steals a fortune in cash from the police safe, and gives it to her for her treatment. Then two bodies are found in a double homicide, and with only his friend, morgue worker Chae (John Billingsley) as confidant, Matt soon realises that all the evidence is pointing to him.
Review by Louise Keller:
A juicy film noir melodrama coloured by lust, greed and passion, Out of Time is highly enjoyable entertainment, largely due to its charismatic cast and easy-on-the-eye locations. Director Carl Franklin (High Crimes) injects plenty of style, countering the incredulous script, contradictions and poor dialogue ('Are you alright?' is one line that is used at least four times). And Denzel simply dazzles us with his charm. What a contrast to his role in Training Day!
It's sizzling hot - and I'm not just talking about the weather. Passions are smouldering and we are lured to the beautiful Gulf coast, where sunsets are Monet paintings and the rhythms and jazz jostle us into the sway. Like a compelling holiday page-turner, the ingredients comprise love, lust, greed, temptation and betrayal, with enough twists, turns and surprises to keep us on the edge of our seat.
It takes no time at all to understand the situation: the illicit love affair that comes with strings attached, namely an ugly-tempered husband, who appears to have no redeeming features. There's a terrific scene filled with double entendres, as the very suspicious Chris (Dean Cain, convincingly nasty), confronts Matt over a beer, telling him what he would do if he discovered his adulterous suspicions were grounded. Eva Mendes is splendid as the curvaceous woman over whom Matt is still pining. Mendes simply oozes sex appeal: we can't take our eyes off her, and so what if her homicide detective wardrobe of a skin-tight ensemble leaving nothing to the imagination is inappropriate? Plus, she has the kind of lip-gloss that doesn't budge when she eats, and she looks sensational in the rain. But it's that kinda movie. So don't be surprised either, when you see the super sensual Sanaa Lathan first thing in the morning wearing make-up.
This is melodrama Hollywood style. The action hots up with the first double cross, and as the stakes rise, we hold our breath as Matt tries to get hold of, and tamper with, the evidence. Not since Presumed Innocent, has the protagonist been so close to the crime. John Billingsley is terrific as Matt's trusty friend Chae, bringing plenty of light comic relief. 'Would you have given me the money if I slept with you?' he asks Matt. Out of Time is good escapist entertainment, as long as you know that this is the stuff airport novels are made of. Yes, it's a 'sail into the sunset' film, and Denzel is the epitome of a leading man.
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OUT OF TIME (M)
CAST: Denzel Washington, Eva Mendes, Sanaa Lathan, Dean Cain, John Billingsley, Robert Baker, Alex Carter, Antoni Corone, Terry Loughlin, Nora Dunn
PRODUCER: Jesse Beaton, Neal H. Moritz
DIRECTOR: Carl Franklin
SCRIPT: David Collard
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Theo van de Sande
EDITOR: Carole Kravetz
MUSIC: Graeme Revell
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Paul Peters
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 29, 2004