Killing Time

Cash-scrimping filmmakers present little of interest in Clockstoppers

This film is loosely based, without credit, on H.G. Wells' short story "The New Accelerator," in which a scientist figures out a way to slow time down to such an extent that everything else moves in super slo-mo; in essence, he's moving so fast that to the rest of the world, he's invisible. Perhaps you've seen the trailer for Clockstoppers and thought its variation on the now-ubiquitous bullet-time effect seemed neat. But that's all there is of it in the film. To save some cash, certain scenes in the film were done with actors trying to remain perfectly still; they didn't realize their normal-speed respiration was apparent, and the result is laughable. "Teen-ager" Zak (Jesse Bradford) is the one who discovers a watch with the aforementioned bullet-time properties. Initially using it to impress his new girlfriend (Paula Garcés), he soon finds himself pursued by a mad scientist (French Stewart) and a nefarious government loose cannon (Michael Biehn). Will Zak use the watch to outwit his ostensibly smarter opponents? Sorta. Since the budget isn't that big, the watch breaks after the first major chase scene and doesn't get fixed again until the climax. That leaves us with filler, banal asides of Zak trying to woo his girl or hanging out with his token black friend. It's all inoffensive enough, just not very interesting.

 
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