Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Good Time

Robert Pattinson stars as Connie, a criminal who uses everyone he comes into contact with including his mentally-handicapped brother Nick (Benny Safdie) who he ropes into helping him rob a bank. While the score goes off without any issues, the botched getaway leaves Nick in jail and Connie working every angle he can to free him including calling on an old girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh), taking advantage of an impressionable 16 year-old (Taliah Webster), and planning a jail break after his brother is taken to a nearby hospital.

While respecting the tone and pace of of directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie's film, Connie's selfishness eventually began to wear on me. There's a method to Connie's madness, although his actions rarely lead to the expected outcome. And he does have guilt over Nick being locked up in prison, although it's hard not to look at these actions as predominantly selfish in keeping himself out of prison.

Pattinson is put to good use here as a charming, but completely scuzzy, human being. Despite being in over-his-head multiple times, and making nearly every wrong move possible, Connie manages to keep one-step ahead of the police for as long as possible. It's easy to appreciate the craft that went into the making of the film, keeping us engaged in Connie's various failed attempts to put right what he screwed up so badly, but your enjoyment of it (as mine did) may well come done to your take on its protagonist whose actions make it nearly impossible to root for but who remained just charming enough to prevent me from rooting against.

[Lionsgate, $24.99]

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