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Clockstoppers (2002)

What if you had the power to stop time?

Directed by:

Jonathan Frakes

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 90 minutes

UK Certificate: PG

On DVD

Country: United States

Jesse Bradford stars as Zak Gibbs, an ordinary fun-loving teenager who has communication problems with his father, gifted scientist Dr Gibbs (Robin Thomas). One of Dr Gibbs' old students, the brilliant Earl Dopler (French Stewart) sends him a device to look at – a wristwatch that can place its wearer and those in contact with him into 'hypertime', with their molecules travelling so fast that everyone else appears to be standing still. Dopler is in fact working, under some duress, for a company run by the ambitious and sinister Gates (Michael Biehn) who has high hopes for the financial potential inherent in the device once the final flaws are fixed.

Zak borrows it unknowingly while his father is away at a conference, and is most surprised when the world seems to stop around him as a result of his fiddling with the watch. He and his girlfriend Francesca (Paula Garces) go on a spree of pulling pranks using the device, however they do not know about Gates or that his people have access to hypertime. Those people want the watch and Dr Gibbs as well, because he may be able to solve its final problems – and they will stop at nothing to get them both.

'Clockstoppers' is a cheerful adolescent sci-fi romp mixing the fun one can have with a time-stopping device with standard 'evade-the-bud-guys' action. The science behind the concept shouldn't be examined too closely, as the plot glosses easily over most of the technical questions – it's probably best not to think about the film too hard. Instead the film prefers to focus on the action, with the help of outstanding special effects and spectacular car chases. There is little depth to the film's plot or characters, but the constant development of the action does provide a fair bit of entertainment.

It's Got: Great time-stopping special effects.

It Needs: Fewer holes in the science.

DVD Extras It would have been nice to see some more extras targeted at young people with this family film. Extras: Making of, Theatrical trailer, TV spots. Music video: ‘Holiday in my Head’ by Smash Mouth DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Alternatives:

Back to the Future, Spiderman, Spy Kids

Summary

This film is an above-average family adventure that will certainly amuse kids but lacks depth and substance.

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