In what feels like a previous life, I predicted that Robert Pattinson would be the biggest star to emerge from the Twilight saga once all the blood ran dry. I believed that because not only was he the most charismatic star of the series, but also because he, in my opinion, was also the most talented actor of its now world famous threesome (Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner being the other two members, in case you lived under a rock between 2008 and 2013).
Although Stewart has been in several films since her days as Bella Swan, she often seems to play herself in her roles – the awkward, quiet friend from next door who doesn’t know whether to shake your hand or give you a hug at the end of a date kinda girl. To put it bluntly, she has never really had a performance to date that would disprove the popular notion that she can’t play dead in a western.
I honestly haven’t even seen Taylor Lautner in anything over the past four years, so I guess that speaks for itself.
But all that was then, and this is now. Here we are in the summer of 2017, and we still may not have seen the best yet from Pattinson. After seeing his performance in Good Time, I would like to say that my predictions from yesteryear couldn’t have been more prophetic.
Good Time is like a new, refreshing dessert that cleanses our pallet from the awful taste of the lackluster Summer ’17 films we had to endure through. Despite a few pleasant surprises like Baby Driver and Logan Lucky, and the entertaining Wonder Woman, this summer’s movies were mediocre at best and undoubtedly disappointing. Good Time, though, is just that. It’s actually a great time at the movies, watching potential come to fruition in one actor and the dawn of a new star in another.
Pattinson gives the performance of his life thus far without question. He thoroughly looked and sounded the part of a troubled young guy from the heart of New York City. His co-star, Bennie Safdie, gives an outstanding performance as Nick Nikas, Connie’s (Pattinson) mentally challenged brother who helps him rob a bank for the purpose of affording a better life for the both of them. It isn’t made clear if Connie is older than Nick or not, but he is definitely the alpha of the two. The sad thing about their relationship is that Connie doesn’t appear to want to come to grips with the fact that his brother is different. To him, he isn’t different at all. The bottom line in his mind is the fact that Nick is his brother, and he wants to protect and provide for him at all costs.
Despite the fact that they committed an armed robbery, and somehow regardless of the fact that they even used black men face masks to do it in an effort to look as different from their true selves as possible, you find yourself rooting for the “bad guy” here. You see the humanity in Connie. You understand his agenda and you want him to pull it off. As easy as it would be for him to take advantage of his challenged brother, he never once contemplates doing so. It’s strange to say there is a moral lesson to be learned here from a story centered around brothers committing armed robbery, but in its own way, there really is. That’s what makes this movie so special.
Speaking of special, let’s get back to Safdie. Not only did he co-star in the film, but he also directed it. His directorial vision in this movie was exceptional. He created scenes that were manic, yet controlled, which is extremely difficult to pull off. The cinematography is so ripe –like a juicy fruit off a vine that you want to keep picking for more. It successfully made Good Time a spellbinding, colorful piece of work that was an absolute treat to watch.
Aside from the filmmaking, I really enjoyed the music of the film. The unique sound of the score reminded me of that 80s electric keyboard sound that was equally effective as addicting in It Follows and Stranger Things. It complements this urban thrill ride effortlessly.
I thought I would see it in Water for Elephants or Remember Me, but it took until Good Time to absolutely say without any chagrin that Robert Pattinson is a legit A-list name and talent. He is not bubble gum, teen city – he is big-time Hollywood.
Good Time plays as a modern day Of Mice and Men, and is fantastic in so many ways. In the same way that Hell or High Water snuck up on everyone last year (also had an August release), Good Time does the same this year. Like Hell or High Water, it would not surprise me at all to see Oscar buzz surround Pattinson and this film later on this year. Even though it would be a huge underdog to land some nods due to its summer release date and the amount of high quality films yet to come during the “official” Oscar season, I know I’ll be rooting for it.
MATTER RATING: 8.5/10
OSCAR SCALE: 5/10 (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay)
BY: CHRIS GUEST