‘Good Time’ Review
The Drifters and later George Benson sang “the neon lights are bright on Broadway.” Well, we aren’t on Broadway, and though they aren’t bright, the neon lights are ever present and crucial to the tone of Good Time, the latest from brothers and co-directors Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie.
Robert Pattinson stars as Constantine “Connie” Nikas, in a performance unlike anything we have previously seen from him. Connie is protective of his brother Nick (played by director Benny Safdie). He’s also a grungy unhinged bank robber. Connie is a smooth talker who thinks ‘quick on his feet,’ instead of relying on strategy. Due to his decisions, he is barraged with an endless stream of danger, catastrophes and near traumatic events as the story progresses.
A botched bank robbery separates the brothers and sends Nick to jail and Connie on the lam. Co-writers Ronald Bronstein and Josh Safdie seemingly take immense pleasure in launching Connie off-the-rails as he desperately attempts to avoid capture while simultaneously figuring out how to spring his brother. With a frenetic pace that escalates Griffin Dunne’s misery in After Hours, Connie’s escapades have him crossing paths with his girlfriend played by Jennifer Jason Leigh (wish she had more screen time), a psychiatrist played by Peter Verby, a new anxious-to-help acquaintance in Taliah Webster, an accidental partner-in-crime played by Buddy Duress, an amusement park security guard played by Barkhad Abdi (“Look at me!”), and a brutish thug played by hip-hop artist Necro.
The pounding, pulsating techno/synth music perfectly complements the unusual tone (almost noirish, and bordering on comedic), feverish pace, and fascinating visuals throughout this hyper-kinetic frenzied trip. Some viewers will be turned off quickly…Those that stick with it will be rewarded with an entertaining crime thriller featuring Pattinson’s best performance to date.