(Originally posted on 1/8/04)
See Denzel steal. See Denzel get framed. See Denzel run around Florida like the hero of a second-rate Hitchcock thriller. Carl Franklin's Out of Time is so depressingly average, so unworthy of genuine praise or vitriolic scorn, that there's very little one can say about it. Denzel Washington plays a police chief who steals impounded drug money from the station to help his girlfriend pay for experimental cancer treatment. But when her house goes up in flames and all signs point to him being the arsonist, Denzel discovers that he's been framed, and must figure out a way to recover the money before the DEA discovers it's missing and clear his name before his ex-wife -- a homicide detective played by Eva Mendes - pins the case on him. It's a rather straightforward "average man trapped in seemingly dire circumstances" narrative, and might have provided some thrills were it not for Franklin's lazy direction -- couldn't his compositions have featured someone on the edges of the frame? - and Washington's serviceable but unremarkable performance as a desperate but determined cop on the run. As is, I ran out of patience with Out of Time almost as soon as the opening credits had finished rolling.