Case Number 20494: Small Claims Court

TICKING CLOCK

Sony // 2010 // 101 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 13th, 2011

The Charge

Evil will strike again...it's only a matter of time.

The Case

Apparently Cuba Gooding, Jr. won an Academy Award. That's what it says on the back of the DVD. Good for him! He's in this weirdo straight-to-DVD crime thriller. He plays Lewis Hicks, a hotshot crime journalist who's burned so many bridges in the police department over the years they don't care if a psychopathic murderer takes him out.

Unfortunately for Lewis he does run into a psychopathic murderer (Neil McDonough, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li), who's systematically executing women in fairly disgusting ways. The first to go is his girlfriend, killed and dissected in her own bed. This sets Lewis off on a fevered search for the killer, pretty much all by himself because the cops hate his guts, and as he zeroes in on the scumbag he makes a startling realization that he's crossed over into an entirely new genre.

That's right. You think you're watching a generic, run-of-the-mill, made-for-DVD suspense movie, but just when you're comfortable in that niche, Ticking Clock pull the genre rug out from under you -- and, honestly, it's better for it.

I'm going to dodge spoilers because the reveal is interesting enough to preserve. While I'm not completely sold on the sleight of hand and believe the script is walking a very thin line of COOL AND STUPID, this much can not be ignored: if not for the surprise, this movie would flit away into the abyss and remain forever anonymous.

Outside of the twist, Ticking Clock is indeed rudimentary. Our hero by himself isn't memorable and only when he's faced with the fallout of the revelation does he begin making interesting decisions. I've always liked McDonough, but his serial killer schtick is familiar. And the peripheral characters may as well not even exist. But the twist reorients the film and gives it an edge; it's off-putting and crazy, yes, but I reckon you'll actually remember Ticking Clock because of it. That's a win, right there.

A bare-bones DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround, no extras.

The Verdict

The movie's not great, but it distinguished itself. Also I had a tasty dinner, so I'm in a good mood. Not Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 70

Perp Profile
Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Thai)

Subtitles:
* English
* English (SDH)
* Chinese
* French
* Korean
* Portuguese
* Spanish
* Thai

Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1519664/combined