By midlandsmovies, Jan 9 2018 07:05PM
Good Time (2017) Dir. Ben and Josh Safdie
Robert Pattinson plays career criminal Constantine "Connie" Nikas who ropes his mentally disabled brother, Nick, into a bank heist in this new film from brothers Ben and Josh Safdie. Good Time was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and the film throws us straight into the brothers’ troublesome schemes. Their plans almost immediately go wrong as their ill-gotten gains from their robbery are tarnished when their bag explodes tainting the money (and them) in pink dye.
Whilst planning their getaway, Pattinson’s brother panics when confronted by cops and before long he is held in custody whilst Pattinson himself escapes leaving his brother to face jail. In prison, his brother is beaten and ends up in bandages in hospital.
Famed for Twilight and a stint in Harry Potter, both which I’m hardly a fan of, Pattinson has attempted to move away from those two infamous franchises with a choice of weird and wonderful indie flicks. Admirable though they may have been, I was no fan of fare such as Cosmopolis (2012, Cronenberg) but he is a great screen presence here and I’d go as far to say this is the most accessible of his post-Twilight films
Pattinson’s Connie then hatches a plan to break out his brother from the hospital but the slightly dull middle sequence is livened with a pulp-y twist straight from the pages of a ludicrous Dan Brown novel. Whilst the crime story has few unique elements – most of which are culled from better movies – the electronic score sounds akin to the eerie music from Stranger Things and is a great addition which provides far more atmosphere than most contemporary soundtracks.
More specifically, in this genre, there is a musical similarity to Drive (2011), whilst a long sequence in an amusement park to find a secret stash was visually inventive with its over-stylised Suspiria-esque lighting adding even more feeling. The ingenious use of the haunted house attraction allowed a fun night time chase to take place with Barkhad Abdi from Captain Phillips appearing as a brave security guard.
Stylistically, with the extreme lighting, the neon streets, the digital music and even Pattinson’s dyed blonde hair, it evokes some sense of Blade Runner. Stick with me on this. The Rutger Hauer hair and constant digital aural accompaniment gives the film a satisfying ambience and it’s worth noting the excellent performance of Ben Safdie in the supporting role of Connie’s brother Nick. He gives a tender and sympathetic performance in a film full of selfish thugs and his understated and quiet delivery is one of the film’s highlights and provides its much needed heart.
With that all said, is it much more than a good genre flick? Not particularly. Despite its soundtrack and gorgeous lighting, the film hits most of the brawny beats expected but with top performances and seedy sequences, you can do far worse than this movie. Bringing slick street cool to a standard thriller story, Good Time is solid without being stupendous but fans of dark crime flicks will find themselves having more of a great, rather than good, time.
Midlands Movies Mike