guess it's no surprise that "Clockstoppers", a
movie produced by the fine folks over at Nickelodeon -- a TV network that caters
exclusively to kids -- is filled with gaping plot holes and enough continuity
errors to make your head spin. That is, this would be the case if you didn't
already expect all these flaws going in. The fact is, "Clockstoppers"
has so little interest in being grounded in reality, or based on something as
inane as common sense, that it's no use pointing out all of its errors. Thank
God I've never let that stop me before!
"Clockstoppers" stars Jesse Bradford ("Bring
it On") as Zak, a teen slacker who spends his time selling junk on Ebay
at inflated prices. One day Zak ends up with a super duper doohickey (in the
guise of a normal watch) that can grant him superspeed. Since the watch makes
Zak move in "hypertime", everyone else, including the whole world,
looks like they're frozen. The watch was created by Mad Scientist Dopler (French
Stewart), who is working on behest of a Shadowy Government Agency run by Gates
(Michael Biehn). Since he's about to be closed down, Gates plans on taking
Dopler's invention and selling it on the black market. I think. The movie can
only afford a couple of minutes to devote to Gates. But since Gates employs two
enforcers in Black Suits and Sunglasses, we know he's shady by affiliation.
So blah blah blah and the watch ends up in Zak's hands.
Once he figures out what the watch is, Zak uses it to romance Latina exchange
student Francesca (Paula Garces) and, with Francesca in tow, uses his superspeed
ability to help his buddy Meeker (Garikayi Mutambirwa) win a DJ competition.
Actually the best thing about this 15-minute interlude where the teens go about
town getting revenge and playing tricks on people is the notion that Meeker, one
of those Sassy Black Characters with an Urban Personality can't -- get this --
dance! Ha ha, get it? Meeker is the only black character in the history of Black
Urban Characters who has no rhythm!
The breezy movie is directed by "Star Trek" alum
Jonathan Frakes, who also helmed "Insurrection" and "First
Contact", two entries in the "Star Trek" movie franchise.
Frakes is used to special effects, so the movie's hypertime sequences are
standouts. In all likelihood 70 to 80 percent of the movie's budget was probably
blown on those special effects and it shows. Of course having groovy CGI and
bullet-time effects still doesn't change the fact that although Frakes and
company can tell actors to freeze and poise inanimate objects anyway they want,
they still can't stop Mother Nature. On more than one occasion, while the world
is supposed to be moving in slow motion, you can see tree branches and leaves
blowing away at normal speed in the background!
"Clockstoppers" was obviously geared for kids
under the age of 10, who won't notice all the continuity gaffes and lapses in
story logic. Although this doesn't quite explain why the film had to make Jesse
Bradford and Paula Garces as teens in high school. At the shooting, Bradford was
in his mid-20s, and Garces was in her late '20s. I mean, geez, sure they can
past for early 20-somethings -- but teens? Why not just cast Hilary Duff and
Frankie Muniz, two actual teens known to kids? The duo already teamed up
in "Agent Cody
Banks", and that's pretty much the same movie as
Actually, the most annoying thing about
"Clockstoppers" is just how poorly the characters use their
superspeed. Even the most thickheaded teen could figure out better uses for the
ability than these bozos.
Which leads me to this final conclusion: With the freezing
and superspeed technology available nowadays, why hasn't someone taken the Flash
off the pages of DC Comics and turned the Scarlet Speedster into a live-action
movie? While watching "Clockstoppers" I kept wondering how awesome a
"Flash" movie would be using the exact same technology...