This the ShoutDown Review of the movie Good Time. I did not like this movie. I was disappointed that Alamo Drafthouse picked it for the distinction of a special screening including a Question and Answer (Q&A) session after the credits.
I saw this film as part of a Victory member screening on 9 August 2017. I went to Mainstreet Theater in Kansas City, MO to view the film. The previous Victory screenings I have been to have been good experiences. Previous films I got to experience both early and for free include Nerve last year and Get Out which I reviewed earlier this year. This particular movie did not live up to that standard.
I am going to try and scribble this review without spoilers. But without mentioning specific plot points; I will elude some things that happen but I will try and keep it general. My intent is not to give anything away. Just giving some hints about the story and what happens. Most of which you can get from the frenetic trailer.
This movie follows Robert Pattinson’s Connie Nikas over the course of an about 36 to 48 hours. Connie navigates New York City in this story which seems like a character itself. Generally everyone else is just there to further Connie’s story. There is just one problem; the story does not progress in that time. Also it not very interesting a tale either. In the end; all the characters are basically in the same position or the natural progression of where they belong.
Connie uses everyone. It is masked as trying to help his brother Nick played by Ben Safdie. That’s right, Nick Nikas very original name right? I guess he is a Marvel character too? Anyway; Connie’s actions are just as self serving as they are to help Nick get out of trouble.
As a quick note; the movie actually opens and closes with Nick. Strange since the story is really about Connie. I think it is enlightening to the style of storytelling in this film. Why is a supporting character the opener and closer.
Plus, Nick is only in trouble because of Connie! Connie did not need Nick when they got in trouble. Still Connie used him anyway. I still can not figure out why. Nick is not a good accomplice. And surprise Nick gets in trouble. Almost like Connie meant for it to happen. However that is betrayed by the rest of the film as Connie tries to “help” for Nick.
Connie is not smart. He is lazy otherwise he would have a job instead of getting in trouble. Nick is less smart. Why make this pair the focus of a film?
Connie treats every person he encounters with no respect at all. Of note are three characters in this film. His supposed girlfriend Jennifer Jason Leigh who plays Corey. By the way Ms. Leigh is underused and woefully miscast. Connie is sweet to her when he needs something. And mean to her the rest of the time. A woman her encounters along the way Gladys Mathon’s Annie. Connie takes and takes from Annie. She is not very bright so it makes it easier for Connie to use her.
The character who gets screwed over the most is Annie’s granddaughter. Taliah Webster’s Crystal gets screwed the worse. In fact; she almost gets more than metaphorically screwed despite the fact her character is 16. Connie almost does it just to save himself from her knowing he is a bad guy. Doesn’t even seem like Crystal would even care. But she ends up in a bad position by the end of the movie. She is probably the only redeeming character that gets significant screen time. But ends up much worse off having ever met Connie. Almost like an allegory for the viewer.
The other characters are of no use. Connie even calls out one of the characters as useless to society, another allegory. The others are not worth mentioning. The plot of this film is to simply follow Connie on his adventure. One that does not go anywhere. Making me question why we all went on this journey at all?
Connie’s demeanor and style of interaction results in the main flaw of the movie; I did not care about him. Since he dominates the screen time; it is important to care about the main character. It is hard to care for anyone in the movie except to pity Crystal.
I was, however, on the edge of my seat throughout. Lots of stuff happens. The pace is difficult to keep up with for most of the film. Partly because of a lack of true storytelling that is sacrificed for that pace and shaky camera style. Does that make it a good film though?
The film does keep you wondering what will happen next. But during the Q&A after the film, one of the producers mentioned that they wanted to make a real thriller movie. But wondering about the character is not really all that thrilling. It is just a series of actions. Happening to someone who is completely unlikeable.
Also during the Q&A the writers mentioned that Robert Pattinson asked a lot of questions about Connie’s backstory. I did not see that detail in the film. All I saw was a lazy douche-bag. How many questions could there be about that?
The film opened on 11 August 2017. It was screened during Cannes Film Festival which is supposed to be the top film festival or at least one of them. It did not win Palme d’Or however I am not sure why it was even in the running. It did win a soundtrack award so maybe that is why it was screened.
Cannes screening might have been the impetus for Alamo’s screening. Or maybe someone who works for Alamo is way too much on Team Edward. Either way; Good Time is a misnomer as a title. This film misses the mark. The main character is completely selfish in a story that is without progression giving the audience nothing to care about.
I suggest you skip this one. Even though I got to see it for free. I should have skipped it. Then I would have missed all the Bruno Mars traffic that was headed to Sprint Center. I think I would have enjoyed the concert a lot more.
Rating 1 out of 5.