Good Time

Good Time ★★★★

At the beginning of Good Time, we see small-time crook Connie (Robert Pattinson) drag his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of the middle of an assessment being conducted in a mental health facility. Rescuing his brother from the institution's evil clutches, Connie's fervent fraternal love is blind to the realities of Nick's mental disabilities and his need for professional assistance. Needless to say, Connie's enthusiastic rehabilitation of Nick into civilian life results in Nick ending up in prison pretty much straight away.

Robert Pattinson keeps this movie alive with a manic, hopped-up and edgy performance. With his slightly pointy black beard and diamond stud earrings he looks a little bit like an extra from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. However, despite this uncanny appearance, it is his single-minded focus to find the bail money he needs to rescue his brother and the constant hop, skip and jump of his cunning guile that keeps this movie moving along. All of which adds up to a notable screen presence. Robert "Please take me seriously after Twilight" Pattinson can notch up a win for this one.

But I think they missed an opportunity with this film. Instead of placing Nick straight away in prison, I would have found it a lot more interesting if the brothers had stayed together for the duration of the film. This would have made it an exponentially more difficult film to make. But it could have been a One Flew Over the Grungy Millennial Cuckoo's Nest for the post-Internet generation.

Going on a more sustained ill-advised adventure would provide Connie time to come to a full understanding of the very real limits his brother needs to negotiate and his own incapacity to cater to this. We would have got to know Nick better, too which would have been a rewarding experience for us. I think it would have helped the film make a bolder statement as well. Slapping a scene in a mental health facility at the beginning and end of this film felt a little cheap in some ways, even if it did motivate Pattinson's character.

The 80s throwback synth score is all the rage at the moment. But sometimes it feels like it is shoe-horned into the film so that a hipster checkbox can be ticked. Not the case here though, the synth score works beautifully.

The movie also contains a lot of dark humour with some perfect timing. In fact, this film has a lot of great qualities, which suggests that this is the kind of film that I would normally like very much. But for some reason I was for the most part rather bored. I couldnt stop thinking about the Thai food I was going to have afterwards. I had just dropped into a depressive episode the day before seeing it though, so maybe I wasnt in the most receptive state for seeing it. File under re-watch, me thinks.

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