Denzel's Squeaky Bum Movie
"Oh! What a tangled web we weave. When first we practice to deceive!" That little saying sort of sums up "Out of Time" quite nicely because whilst this movie sees a small town Police Chief having an affair and stealing money meant for evidence the enjoyment comes from the numerous squeaky bum moments as he has to keep one step ahead of his lies. As such it would be fair to say that "Out of Time" when taken seriously as a thriller where we have faked deaths and a con does not work but as an amusing series of squeaky bum moments it is surprisingly enjoyable.
Matt Whitlock (Denzel Washington - John Q.) is Chief of Police in the small town of Banyan Key where he is having an affair with Ann Merai Harrison (Sanaa Lathan) who is still married to her husband Chris (Dean Cain - The Three Gifts). Matt is married as well or at least estranged from his wife Alex (Eva Mendes - 2 Fast 2 Furious), a homicide detective who is looking for a divorce. When Ann is told her cancer has returned and the treatment will be costly Matt decides to take the half a million he has in the station safe seized from drug dealers to give to Ann to pay for treatment. But when Ann and Chris appear to have been killed in an explosion at their home Matt has to try and work out what is going on as Alex is called in to investigate and instead of telling her the truth hides his affair from her.
"Out of Time" starts in a painful corny manner as Matt receives an emergency call from Ann saying someone has broken into her home, it turns out to be a sex game they have going on so that Matt can visit whilst on duty but it is so cheesy with plenty of sexual innuendo thrown in for good measure. It sort of sets the tone for the rest of the movie because whilst after a slow but playful build up we get Matt realising that he has been conned shortly after the fire and dead bodies are found at Ann's home. Now trust me you cannot take this seriously because any cop would know you cannot lie, you will get found out and with so much evidence pointing to Matt's relationship with Ann that he should tell Alex that he was sleeping with her. So that means you have to stop thinking of this is movie as a crime thriller but a playful squeaky bum movie.
Now what do I mean by squeaky bum, well I mean the various situations Matt finds himself in where he has to think fast to escape being found out whilst keeping the tangled web of lies going. As such we have the outrageously over the top but highly entertaining scenes where he tries to intercept the phone records being faxed in so that he can doctor them before Alex sees his number on them. We have the equally outrageous scene where Matt goes after a fake doctor and we have an extraordinary piece of action on a hotel balcony followed by more squeaky bum moments as he avoids being caught. It is playful, it is amusing and frankly all these squeaky bum moments make the movie entertaining more than the actual thriller side of things.
As for the acting well Denzel Washington delivers what you could call an easy performance, he's charming, smart and shouts when he gets angry but it means as Matt he is easy to watch. Also easy to watch is Eva Mendes as Alex but not just because she is sexy but because she also plays Alex as tough, not necessarily smart as there are no smart people in "Out of Time" but it does make her character more than just eye candy. Eye candy is not what you would describe John Billingsley as Matt's friend Chae but his comedy side kick routine works to provide plenty of amusement especially when it comes just in the nick of time to save Matt's bacon.
What this all boils down to is that as a thriller "Out of Time" doesn't really work, it doesn't draw you into the actual crime as much as it should. But then as a playful movie about a Chief of Police trying to keep up a web of lies it is amusing and also outrageous.