Film Scouts Reviews

"Nick of Time"

by Eleanor Ringel

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Schedule freaks may want to down an extra dose of prozac before checking out Johnny Depp in this nifty thriller that's a '90s variation on such "real time" classics as "High Noon" and "Rope". Depp has ninety minutes approximately the movie's length - to save his little girl's life. She's been kidnapped by bad-guy Christopher Walken who hands Depp a gun and sends him after a designated target. Either he carries out his assassin's mission or his daughter is dead meat. Director John Badham knows his script isn't airtight and he knows that he doesn't have million-dollar stunts (flying buses, Ahnuld riding a horse into an elevator) to camouflage the weaker bits. But he's smart enough to let the dead-on simplicity of the premise cover for him. And he's got a not-so-secret weapon in Depp. Almost unrecognizable in a geeky glasses, CPA suit and short haircut, Depp is wonderfully adept in the Hitchcockian role of an ordinary man caught in extraordinary circumstances. He's just dandy and so is this every-second-counts thriller.

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