Anything that has Denzel Washington in it is a good enough reason to see it, that is all. That is why I watched Out of Time.
Out of Time is a fairly generic and formulaic film at the start which really presents nothing all that surprising to viewers. Its contrived from a lot of superior thriller films. For the entire first hour I was bored waiting through minimal thrills that waded through a very contrived plot and found no real appeal in it except Denzel Washington's performance. But even he couldn't salvage the slow pace and tedious lack of originality in this terrible thriller.
Out of Time is simply a generic Denzel Washington thriller which introduces no new concepts to the genre and is too short on thrills for its own good. It fails to match up to the man's previous collaboration with film director Carl Franklin on the critically successful Devil in a Blue Dress. It wallows in the pity of itself while echoing Denzel Washington's better films with its contrived elements and lack of originality.
The story is lame because it's a predictable investigation one which audiences have seen countless times before, and it brings nothing new to the table this time and no thrills as well as minimal action, so it has little stimulation to it. And its script does the job well enough but it has no surprises to it. It is such a basic film which is excessively repetitive from start to finish and never has any surprises in terms of storytelling, rather taking the same path that so many other films have taken and done significantly better. Out of Time doesn't have a high concept plot and it doesn't salvage what little it has, so the entire experience is simply massively rudimentary as a whole as well as in parts.
Out of Time is a brain killing film and watching it killed my cells by the second because it owed a huge debt to the many superior thrillers that came before it and did nothing to say that it should stand out on its own. It will always suffer from comparisons to practically every other Denzel Washington thriller simply because this one is not up to par or worth the effort of going out of your way to see unless you are a huge die hard fan of him. I know I am, but even I didn't enjoy Out of Time simply because of how generic and boring it is. It is even more boring than Denzel Washington's worst film Heart Condition, though arguably not as bad.
I will say that the film is stylish. The cinematography is really good and takes some nice angles which has it constantly moving to ensure audiences face its story in the right light, even if it the pace of the film does move at a glacial rate. It captures a lot of nice scenery and keeps the important aspect of things in focus while capturing the broad colour palette of its locations. Its iconic technique is the way it makes quick zooms up on the actors' faces during intense situations, a technique commonly used in spaghetti western films to intensify the situations which was a pretty smart move on behalf of Theo van de Sande because it is an appealing technique which is rarely seen anymore.
And its musical score makes it reminiscent of the music from shows like Miami Vice which make it a nostalgic feature for the right viewer. I'm not the right viewer for the film but I could appreciate the way that the music influenced the effect of the atmosphere on viewers.
And from the perspective of the cast, Out of Time does at least manage to succeed fairly in one area.
As expected, Denzel Washington's lead performance in Out of Time was the highlight of the film. While the rest of the film was nothing short of a generic and braindead thriller, Denzel Washington kept the screen rich with his natural charisma as a lead actor. He moved at a swift and powerful rate where he keeps everything realistic with his skills at creating intensity as an actor. While the direction and story of the film does nothing for it, Denzel Washington shines as a lone bright spot with a basic but effective performance which boasts his ability to interact with other cast members with refreshing ease while also playing an effective man caught up in a complicated investigation. Denzel Washington is one of the greatest actors of all time, and without him as the lead it is likely that Out of Time would have no way of standing out from a crowd. The fact that it is lucky enough to have him as the lead actor is the one good decision that the filmmakers made when they came up with the idea for Out of Time. So while the film is disappointing from the standard of a Denzel Washington film, fans of his should at least be pleased by his easy lead performance which has him interacting with the situations with ease and strength, and you could expect nothing less from him.
And while Eva Mendes doesn't make too much of an impact as an actor in Out of Time, her performance is one she executes with easy skill and it sees her working with Denzel Washington again after they collaborated on his second Academy Award winning performance in the film Training Day. The two share an amiable chemistry which strengthens the realism in the film, and it gives credibility to both of them as actors. During Eva Mendes' days as a rising star, she manages to work a good performance into Out of Time which does manage to benefit it during its weaker moments.
But despite the presence of Denzel Washington as the lead actor, Out of Time is one of his significantly lesser films which is so dull and slow over the course of its 105 minutes of running time and short on action and thrills that it is hard to make it to the end or walk away from it saying it was a worthy experience.