GOOD TIME (2017)
Movie Review by L.L. Soares
GOOD TIME (2017) is the latest movie to star Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen of TWILIGHT fame), and another example of the interesting film choices that he and Kristen Stewart have been making since the TWILIGHT films ended. I can pretty much forgive both of them for making me sit through those awful sparkly vampire movies, based on the work they’ve done since.
GOOD TIME has been getting some good buzz since it screened at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Benny and Josh Safdie, who previously made the comedy-drama DADDY LONGLEGS (2009) and the addiction drama HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT (2014), their latest film is the story of two brothers who rob a bank.
Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is the one who plans the heist, and Nick (Ben Safdie) is his slow adult brother who goes along with it. They have a strong brotherly bond, and it’s clear that they’re all each other has. At the bank, they wear rubber masks and Connie gives the teller a note telling her to load up a duffle bag with money. Things seem to be going well, until they jump into their getaway car and a dye pack explodes, turning them bright red, and causing their driver to get into an accident.
They try to escape on foot, but Nick is arrested after crashing through a glass door, trying to evade the police. Connie gets away, but now has to figure out a way to save his brother.
First, he goes to see a bail bondsman (Eric Paykert), who doesn’t seem too concerned that the money Connie is paying with has red splotches on it. But it’s not enough. So Connie goes to see an older girlfriend of his, Corey (the always great Jennifer Jason Leigh, recently in Quentin Taraninto’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT, 2015, and currently on David Lynch’s TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN), who lives with her mother (they argue constantly) and seems to have mental problems. He tries to convince her to loan him the extra cash to post Nick’s bail. When that doesn’t work, Connie decides instead to try to break Nick out, when he learns that Nick has been transferred to a hospital after getting beat up in jail.
The rest of the movie involves the various plans Connie uses to get his brother out, which all go wrong in different ways. This brings him into contact with another con named Ray (Buddy Duress), an older couple and their 16-year old granddaughter, Crystal (Taliah Webster), a bottle of Sprite full of LSD, and a security guard at an amusement park named Dash (Barkhad Abdi from CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, 2013).
I don’t want to go into too much detail about Connie’s adventures, because the various twists and turns are the whole point of the movie. But Connie is a desperate, sleazy guy who will do whatever it takes to get what he wants, so things go in some very interesting directions.
Pattinson proves he can carry a movie, and the supporting cast is good, especially newcomer Webster, and the entertaining Duress. The movie maintains a pretty brisk pace throughout, as Connie’s machinations tend to make matters worse, rather than better. He seems to be one step ahead of the bad luck (some people would call it karma) that always follows him, for most of the movie.
Another highlight was the synthesizer score by Daniel Lopatin, which reminded me of the 1970s horror movie soundtracks by Goblins, and added an extra touch of menace to the proceedings, ramping up the suspense at times. Although it didn’t always feel appropriate, since this clearly isn’t a horror film, it worked in an odd way, anyway.
GOOD TIME is a good movie, but not a particularly exceptional one. The storyline takes some interesting detours, and it’s never boring, but I don’t think it lived up to its post-Cannes buzz. That said, I give it three out of five knives.
© Copyright 2017 by L.L. Soares
LL Soares gives GOOD TIME ~three knives.