Nick of Time (VHS, 1996)

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Nick of Time - Johnny Depp Sets Out to Make His Worst Movie Ever

Feb 13, 2012 (Updated Apr 21, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Johnny Depp's hair is amazing

Cons:everything else

The Bottom Line: Well, now that Depp's gotten the low point of his career out of the way, he can move on to better things.


There are some actors who consistently make good movies, even if they don’t always rake it in at the box office. Until recently, I would have put Johnny Depp in that category. His success in the Pirates of the Caribbean series has taken away something from his reputation as an actor who takes chances and generally comes away with good reviews, despite some rather eccentric roles.

That’s why Nick of Time is such an anomaly for him.  It’s as if he said to his people “let’s make the worst film I’ll ever make so we can get this out of the way.”

Johnny Depp is Gene Watson, a single father who has just arrived in Los Angeles by train with his 6 year-old daughter (portrayed by Courtney Chase).  They are kidnapped by two conspirators (portrayed by Christopher Walken and Roma Maffia) who may or may not be police officers where he is given a directive to kill the governor of California (portrayed by Marsha Mason) or his daughter will be killed.

The entire plot is contrived to the max. Poking holes in it is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Why would those behind the kidnapping have him take a cab from the train station to the hotel when they are following him anyway? They could have just dropped him at the hotel. Walken’s character follows him around continually begging the question why didn't he just do the job himself if he had this much access to the entire itinerary.  This is especially true when the story unfolds and it’s revealed just how far-reaching the conspiracy goes. It would have been easy to kill her and cover it up. Why the need for such an intricate plot?  At one point Gene gets into the elevator with the governor and instead of blurting out the whole situation to her, he hesitates until it is too late.  This is so infuriating and such a piece of lazy filmmaking I nearly quit watching the movie then and there.

Those are just a few examples of the weakness in the story. There are plenty more. Depp seems to spend most of his time looking puzzled and anxious. He’s not really pulling off the action hero thing but I’m not sure that’s what he was going for.  Walken is Walken.  He’s threatening and menacing, but really, is that a stretch for him?  There are a few bright spots in the rest of the cast.  Gloria Reuben does a nice turn as the Governor’s aide and Marsha Mason is fine as a governor who’s popular with the people and pretty much no one else. That her character doesn’t see this conspiracy going on around her before now is also a stretch that isn’t believable.

Nick of Time represents the worst movie I’ve ever seen Johnny Depp in. Watch 21 Jump Street instead of this to get your Depp fix. Trust me, the stories were better.


Other Johnny Depp movies/DVDs:

Benny & Joon ~ Cannes Man ~ Chocolat ~ Corpse Bride ~ From Hell ~ The Man Who Cried ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ~ Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ~ The Source

21 Jump Street: Season One ~ 21 Jump Street: Season Two ~ 21 Jump Street: Season Three ~ 21 Jump Street: Season Four


© 2012 Patti Aliventi


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