GOOD TIME [2017]

 

An independent film done right, this is a tense, dark and gritty thriller that certainly has some unpredictable moments under its sleeve. This is a prime example of a limited budget enhancing the creativity of all involved. One can only imagine what schlock like Thor is raking in right now compared to Good Time, which is an apt tile.

Pattinson, far removed from his Twilight years, is near-perfect as one brother, Connie, a truly relentless arsehole. His brother, Nick (a unrecognisable) Benny Sadfie, is intellectually disabled, but Connie decides to use him to rob a bank. This does not end well, as his Nick is arrested while Connie flees and injures himself badly- Connie vows to get his brother out of the hospital, which is littered with cops, but his methods are unconventional to say the least.

It sounds like a simple premise but the story has enough surprising moments of cleverly written scenarios without warning, keeping things very interesting. After one of these moments the stakes are amplified considerably, and the original plans hit the fan, as it were.

What comes next is more tense scenes as we see just how selfish Connie is, despite desperately wanting to get his brother away from the cops. One of the most terrifying scenes involves a large amount of liquid LSD. Anyone experienced in psychedelic use will be able to image how truly scary this moment is.

The stakes get even higher as the situation is taken in a fairground. Some quick thinking allows them to leave safely, but soon find that their plans are about to morph from horrid to nightmarish. They are running out of options quickly. But one gets the feeling the insanely manipulate Connie will find a way out, he has managed to do so so far.

The final act is quite memorable and intense, and paired with a fantastic soundtrack whose synths are almost a dark throwback to A Clockwork Orange. Ok, perhaps not the best comparison; Blade Runner 2049 is probably a closer cousin. Oneohtrix Point Never have really created a unique, synth-filled soundscape with anything sounding overbearing over dialogue absent, not to mention the lack of common technique of emotional manipulation.

The camera work may not be for everyone, as close-up shows are heavily used. This as an actor is high time really show their skills – how subtle yet convincing can they be with the camera is focused directly on their face, on their eyes often. Pattinson especially great here, as is Benny Safdie.

First The Rover, I’m sure there are more, but these two films both show the incredible range Pattinson possesses.

The screenplay falters slightly in the first, mainly as a few events seem unbelievable, But this soon dissipates soon as we find ourselves immersed in this tight narrative, where it seems anything could happen at any second.

Sadfie and Jennifer Jason-Leigh, who seems to perform in every role she is given, as both excellent, Benny Sadfie especially nails home the humanity of his character and just how confused he is, while Jason-Leigh is excellent in playing Connie’s girlfriend whose mother refuses to accept she is dating Connie, or seeing him in some capacity. These of course leads to more conflict.


A fantastic ending accompanies the film, with quite the suspense filledfive beer(1) final act. Despite small flaws in the screenplay, this indie is well worth investing your time into. Pattinson is especially memorable, the soundtrack is unique and pounding when appropriate, and the small cast deliver on every front. It is also extremely polished and well made, adding more an element of style, combined with the soundtrack, to contrast against the black nature of the action.

One short of a sixer

5/6