Clockstoppers

"OK"

Clockstoppers Review


Back in the early 1970s, far-fetched kiddie caper matinees came out almost every other week. They were low-budget, weakly-plotted, G-rated adventures in which clever pubescents and/or teenagers outsmarted cartoonishly nefarious adults who worked for the government or a Big Mean Corporation and were always were up to no good.

These movies were hit-and-miss throwaway fare like "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes" (featuring teenage Kurt Russell), "Candleshoe" (teenage Jodie Foster) and "Escape from Witch Mountain." But they had a certain cheap charm that seems to be making a colorful, high-tech comeback in films like "Spy Kids," "Big Fat Liar" and the new kids-with-gadgets escapade "Clockstoppers."

This one stars Jesse Bradford (bewitched by Kirsten Dunst in "Bring It On") as Zak, a resourceful high schooler (he sells garage-sale finds on eBay to save for a car) who gets his hands on an experimental wristwatch that can speed up his molecules to the point where time seems to stand still for the rest of the world.

Zak discovers that bringing the beautiful Francesca (Paula Garces) into "hyper-time" with him is a great first date, taking her around town on a pranking spree and watching bumble bees flap their wings in super-duper slow-motion. But Zak soon finds out that the watch -- which he found in the basement workshop of his workaholic physics professor pop -- is AWOL from a government contractor's secret lab. There are bad guys that want it back, and they can move in hyper-time too.

Soon Zak and Francesca are being chased through hyper-time and real-time while they also try to rescue Zak's dad from the baddies, who have kidnapped him to finish their experiments after their first snatched scientist (French Stewart) escaped.

Directed by "Star Trek: The Next Generation" alumni Jonathan Frakes (who also helmed the last two "Trek" films), "Clockstoppers" may be riddled with small plot holes that require the contrivance of convenient air ducts to crawl away from. It may be saddled with don't-think-too-hard nonsense like elevators and cars that work in hyper-time when nothing else does. It certainly has a host of other nit-picky problems (why make Francesca a foreign exchange student if Garces can't even hold an accent for an entire scene?).

But the flick is infused with entertaining energy and it's written with an adult-friendly crispness that's especially rare in movies aimed squarely at pre-teens (this one is produced by Nickelodeon).

Frakes gets fun performances out of his eclectic cast, especially the funny French Stewart ("3rd Rock from the Sun") who is acting instead of mugging for a change as he helps the kids sneak into the bad guys' HQ, carrying customized paint guns filled with liquid nitrogen pellets that freeze hyper-time baddies back to real-time. The director also explores family bonding territory without getting preachy and lends the film a hipness that its 20th Century predecessors never had with the use of cool special effects and an even cooler soundtrack (Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, Third Eye Blind, The Dandy Warhols).

He even earns "Clockstoppers" a careful PG rating so image-conscience kids won't think they're too cool to see it, but does so without the usual gross-out gags and other gimmicky accouterments that bring such pictures down to an intelligence-insulting level. (I'd guess it was the shot of Garces in a towel that did the trick.)

"Clockstoppers" is no children's classic, and it's not trying to be. But as Saturday matinee fodder, it might just be part of a new wave of fond memories for today's far more movie-savvy kids.



Clockstoppers

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th March 2002

Box Office USA: $36.9M

Box Office Worldwide: $38.8M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies, Valhalla Motion Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 60

IMDB: 5.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Zak Gibbs, as Francesca, Robin Thomas Grossman as Dr. Gibbs, as Dr. Earl Dopler, as Henry Gates, as Jenny Gibbs, as Meeker, as Kelly Gibbs, Jason George as Richard

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.