Clockstoppers (2002)

(In theaters, April 2002) A line of dialogue in this film essentially states that “it’s a terrible thing to let children play with such wondrous technology”, and that pretty much sums up my own feelings about Clockstoppers. When such cool effects as virtual cameras are used to prop up an average teen science-fiction film, well, there is a tangible impression of waste. It’s not as if it’s a bad film, mind you: Jesse Bradford does a good job as the lead (though he’s not nearly as cool as in Bring It On) and Paula Garcés is fine to look at (though older than her character by nearly a decade, to the delight of post-teen males in the audience). It’s just that the script makes no attempt at being anything more than simply a science-fiction film for teens. Some of the antics are juvenile, the romance feels contrived and artificial, the enemies are too caricatured to be believable and, well, everything seems so intentionally aimed for teens that it loses the rest of the audience. The “logic” of hypertime is shakily established, and then carelessly broken time and time again. (The DJing sequence is particularly painful to watch) Naturally, the special effects are a lot of fun (though you can see most of them in the trailer) and done with a certain amount of skill. Too bad that they serve such a forgettable script.

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