Throwback Thursday Review – Good Time (2017)

films, reviews, TBT

good_time_28film295_star_rating_system_3_stars After watching The Lighthouse I wanted to give Robert Pattinson more of a chance. I’ve not really seen anything that he’s been in. So, I did the only thing that I can think of and found his highest-rated film on Rotten Tomatoes. Unfortunately, that was The Lighthouse. What a throwback that would be. Remember last week when I watched Willam Dafoe and Robert Pattinson man a lighthouse? Ah, they were good times. Not quite the same. So, I went for the next one. Which, actually, had the same rating. Although, if Amazon reviews are anything to go by, audience reactions weren’t quite as good. So, just how good is this gritty crime thriller? It has the look of something that shouldn’t be sitting at 92% positive reviews. It looks like the kind of film you’d find playing late at night on one of those channels that have the word men in the title.

Good Time is a film that unravels in one night. Robert Pattinson is Connie, a resident of New York who is trying to do his best to help his brother. Nick is developmentally disabled and has a difficult time living with the pair’s grandmother. Connie takes Nick from his therapy session and promises to take him away. But first, they need money. So, Connie takes Nick with him on a bank robbery. The pair manage to get away with the cash but are thwarted when a dye pack explodes in their getaway car. Nick is eventually picked up the police but Connie manages to escape. He spends the rest of the night trying to find a way to get Nick out of prison. This involves a trip to see his girlfriend, teaming up with a recently released prisoner, and beating up anyone that gets in his way.

Good Time is trying to be one of those classic character-driven gritty thrillers that they used to churn out in the 90s. Everything is surrounded in neon and it’s all grainy and shit. If a film could be a hipster, it would be this one. Although, there is nothing hipster about the narrative here. That’s very much dark, dark, dark. This story starts off in a quite compelling way as we see the strong bond between the two brothers. Nick needs Connie to look out for him but Connie needs Nick around just as much. He has placed his brother at the centre of his very existence so when it all starts to unravel he is lost. It’s that classic case of loving someone too much but in the wrong way. We know that Connie’s need to help his brother is hurting him but Connie can’t see it.

Which is how he ends up on such a self-destructive road and how his night just keeps getting more ludicrous. I wanted to like this film and, for a lot of the time I did. Robert Pattinson does a pretty convincing job as Connie. The problem is the rest of it. Benny Safdie, who also serves as co-director, is so off-putting as Nick. It’s not a nuanced performance of a man with disabilities. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see on South Park. This is the kind of film that just seems to get carried away with itself. There are so many stereotypical and cliched characters here. It’s like the writers forgot that they needed people to go with their crime story.

This is a story that’s just meaningless crime and violence. Okay, not completely meaningless but there comes a point where the story doesn’t really matter that much. It’s not that this is a terrible film but it certainly doesn’t live up to its reputation. I suspect it owes a lot to Pattinson himself who manages to keep the film grounded despite the fact that everything around him is, in reality, quite flimsy. This is a film that has been created to look like it’s got depth and hidden meaning. The camera movements, the lighting, the textures all come together to give it the allusion of edge and grit. Ignore them and this film has very little to it. It’s a waste of Pattinson and was a waste of my time.

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