Published on November 17th, 2017 | by voxx0
Out: 17 November
Length: 102 minutes
Directors: Josh and Benny Safdie
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Benny Safdie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Barkhad Abdi, Buddy Duress
Plot: Connie (Pattinson) lands himself in hot water when his younger brother Nick (Safdie) gets thrown in prison after a heist goes awry. Connie then embarks on a journey to get his brother out by any means necessary.
Electricity pulsates through the night-time streets of New York in Josh and Benny Safdie’s latest, ‘Good Time’ – pulsing in stunning greenish glows across the drone camera or the glow of white shirts in ultraviolet light to the lights coming from cars speeding down the street. The city that never sleeps brims with life here so well that it’s amply scary. Yet beneath it there’s an intriguing family narrative. In their 2009 debut ‘Daddy Longlegs’ they focused on father-child relationships; here they shift their focus to a fraternal one.
Robert Pattinson is Constantine ‘Connie’ Nikas, a conman who goes in search for the next big hit, while protecting his vulnerable brother (co-writer/co-director Safdie) from the help he currently gets from a school. They each go on the run after being involved in a bank heist that goes horribly wrong – one is caught by the police, and the other embarks on a journey across New York City to get his brother out by any means necessary. On paper it’s ‘Mean Streets’ meets ‘Trainspotting’, if each of them were to share a can of acid-fuelled Red Bull, with a little bit of ‘Run Lola Run’ on the side as Connie will do literally anything to get his brother out. And in each moment Pattinson, now clearly so far away from the long shadow cast from the angst of his ‘Twilight’ years, owns the screen with his blistering performance.
Here the Safdie brothers (whose previously film was Heroin-infused drama ‘Heaven Knows What’) have crafted a superb heist thriller basking in well-written characters (Connie is endlessly entertaining), and one that is restlessly taut in the dramatic storytelling, particularly with the love Connie has for his brother. Polished in documentary-esque filmmaking, there are several close-ups zooming in on the emotion immersing the characters, fast-paced running scenes and to top it all off is Daniel Lopatin’s creepy, evocative grand slabs of retro-futurist keyboard synth that will be bouncing around your head for ages. Previously, a hefty amount of heist thrillers have tried this kind of vivid filmmaking to a solid degree, yet in ‘Good Time’ the Safdie brothers have craftily moved away from that by creating an entirely new genre – an original state of madness for the protagonist that’s never been achieved before, and it couldn’t be timelier.
As good a time as it is though, it’s not perfect. There’s a long time in the middle section when Connie takes a break from the action and it’s a while before the film picks up. That said, this is a superbly crafted heist thriller telling an enchanting tale of one man’s madness and the love for his brother. It certainly is a good time.
VERDICT: Just like Robert De Niro in the 70′s, Pattinson is phenomenal in the Safdie brothers’ superbly crafted heist thriller – and it could be one of this year’s best.
- By Corey Denford