Out of Time 2003 Movie Scene Denzel Washington as Matt Lee Whitlock realizing he's been tricked and that the money is gone

Out of Time [2003]

If you’re looking for a forgettable and undemanding tropical adventure featuring a lighthearted neo-noir story, Out of Time is the movie for you. Starring Denzel Washington and Eva Mendes it’s something you play when you don’t want to think too much. Something that becomes apparent within the first fifteen minutes. We will be following Matt Whitlock, a police chief, living in a small Florida Keys town of Banyan Key. Just a couple of weeks ago, he seized a large quantity of drugs and money. However, that’s not on his mind right now as his lover’s husband is not home. This steamy affair is the thing Chief Whitlock needs as he’s going through a messy divorce.

So, to recap, we’ve got one chief of police, his lover, her husband, and a whole bunch of cash and dope. I wonder what can come out of this. And I wonder how this whole thing is going to end. I think you already know the answers to these questions. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t have fun while we’re going through the motions of a classic neo-noir story. A type of story we’ve seen in countless other movies like PalmettoBody Heat, and China Moon, just to name a couple. Through the sheer power of his charisma and screen presence, Denzel Washington along with Eva Mendes makes this movie work. 

We also shouldn’t forget about John Billingsley (The Man From the Earth, Star Trek) and Sanaa Lathan (AVP: Alien vs. Predator). Since the story takes place in a dreamy coastal town, the atmosphere is rather upbeat and playful. Out of Time feels like a vacation movie, something of an escapist experience. To balance that lightheartedness we have the somewhat intense situations where Whitlock needs to get something done in a certain amount of time. As the story progresses, he will get into more and more trouble, juggling multiple problems at the same time. These twists and turns work surprisingly well. And we will also get exactly one highly entertaining action scene. 

I feel like if there were more of them, this would’ve been a much better movie. And yet I must tell you that things could be much, much worse. I just remembered the mess that is 2019’s Serenity starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. It’s actually so crazy that it’s a movie so bad that it’s good. As things stand, Out of Time is still a movie worth watching, a perfect time-killer for those nights when you can’t decide what to watch. There’s no nudity, graphic violence, or any major twists but this is still a fun experience. However, I don’t understand the insistence on certain sexual scenes.

For example, we see Whitlock supposedly making love to his mistress Ann Merai Harrison and yet mere moments later, after they’ve finished, we see them fully clothed. I mean, why don’t have just a passionate kiss or cover up this problem with creative camera angles or something else? We also didn’t need a couple of other scenes painfully hinting at what’s really going on here. On the other hand, the script offers several interesting exchanges. And it also develops the characters sufficiently. Of course, the focus is on our lead, lucky/unlucky chief Whitlock.

The dynamic between Denzel and Eva is great and Billingsley is an excellent comedic relief. His character actually steals the show here. I absolutely loved every scene with the beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking, and wise-cracking medical examiner Chae. I would actually want to see a movie with him in a lead role.

Director: Carl Franklin

Writer: Dave Collard

Cast: Denzel Washington, Sanaa Lathan, Eva Mendes, John Billingsley, Dean Cain, Robert Baker

Fun Facts: The budget for this movie was $50 million and almost half of it went towards Denzel Washington’s paycheck ($20 million).


IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313443/

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