An energy-dripping crime indie & homage to brotherly love with a sensational power-driven Pattinson performance surpassed only by its synthy 80’s electronica-ecstasy score, noir/cyberpunk blend, and oblique mental illness cogitation. 8.8/10.
Plot Synopsis: After a botched bank robbery lands his younger brother in prison, Constantine “Connie” Nikas (Robert Pattinson) embarks on a twisted odyssey through the city’s underworld in an increasingly desperate—and dangerous—attempt to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of jail. Over the course of one adrenalized night, Connie finds himself on a mad descent into violence and mayhem as he races against the clock to save his brother and himself, knowing their lives hang in the balance.
*Possible spoilers ahead*
Official CLC Review
Robert Pattinson. If the first thing that comes to your mind is the glittery vampires of yesteryear’s mediocre Twilight series, you might be in drastic need of a systemic upgrade in film taste. Cosmopolis, The Lost City of Z, Life, Water for Elephants: all displayed massive potential seeping under the surface just needing a breakout role to let free all this pent-up talent. Good Time is that career-maker, a seismic Earth-shaker whose aftershocks can still be felt long after the credits roll and catapult Rob into another stratosphere of acting talent, and energy-dripping crime indie & homage to brotherly love with a sensational power-driven Pattinson performance surpassed only by its synthy 80’s electronica-ecstasy score, noir/cyberpunk blend, and shrewd mental illness cogitation.
The score and noir/cyberpunk blend. It is difficult to even find the words to adequately describe how unbelievable Good Time’s score is. A masterful mix of hard-hitting buzzsaw synths, cascading pads, and pulsating basses, this electronica-on-ecstasy score is one of the best I’ve heard in any film this decade – perhaps millennium. It is absolutely disorientating, feeling seriously avant-garde and experimental in a motif that electrifies the whole film. The score mirrors the film’s swanky locational settings and deliberate choosing of everything from rainy smoke-filled landscapes and ultra-bright neon signs for a noir/cyberpunk blend and feel to a simply sublime sensory-overloading experience dripping in energy and feeling almost drug-like tripping off the overloading of perception white-knuckled before us on screen yet smooth in delivery. Truly one of the most impressive products put out in 2017.
The performances. Of course, the film is centered and elevated singlehandedly by Pattinson’s presence and Herculean effort in performance here – hungry to prove his talent and it shows. His lead as the Queens-accented, Stallone-reminiscent blonde street thug/bank heister Connie is absolutely sensational, unbelievable even being what feels like a deliberate antithesis of everything Twilight was just to rock people with surprise at how incredible he’s honed his skills since – deserves Oscar nom’s. Beyond him, the rest of the performances are serviceable too, especially Jennifer Jason Leigh as his girlfriend Corey, Buddy Duress’ loud-mouthed acid-tripper/comic relief Ray, Taliah Webster as ride-or-die Crystal, and Connie’s mentally-handicapped brother Nick thrown in jail and through the ringer in the strongly-plotted, clear-cut motivations storyline of wanting to get family out of traumatic experiences.
The brotherly love exposition and disability representation. At the film’s intellectualized center is a heartfelt analysis and cogitation on familial bonds; that indescribable connection; that which makes a sibling part of you. Laid out in a smart presentation by the directorial Safdie brothers (probably taking from experience and something only siblings really feel/truly understand), this love-letter heartbreakingly started with Nicky’s hard-to-watch time at a therapy center reliving past developmental trauma and pain elevating all the way up to stealing for survival and getting thrown in the (worst-of-the-worst) jail at Riker’s being everything from chemically-burned to beaten senseless sets the stage for a brother going to his wit’s end in situational gratings that get wilder and more desparate as time goes on, both legal and illegal. Even more powerful and fascinating is the film’s important reflection and representation of mental illness, quelling some negative stereotypical connotations pervading popular culture and displaying those inflicted as equally-human, if not more so with the strength to overcome disabilities/handicaps and shine through in times as dark as this crime-underworldish story. Amongst its only flaws are a length a bit chopped-short on the chopping block at a meager 1.5 hours, and a few questionable plot liberties like the unexplained opening paint grenade.
Overall, Good Time is one of the films of 2017. An energy-dripping crime indie & homage to brotherly love with a sensational power-driven Pattinson performance surpassed only by its synthy 80’s electronica-ecstasy score, noir/cyberpunk blend, and mental illness cogitation, it is one of the most exciting and electrifying/charged crime films in the past 5-years. Already having won multiple awards and unanimous-gushing at Cannes, I would not be surprised – and hope it does – get serious awards season or history annals consideration and catapult Pattinson to the new roles he’s shown capable of handling.
Official CLC Score: 8.8/10