Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In short: 12:01 (1993)

Supposedly loveable office worker and semi-professional loser Barry (Jonathan Silverman) stumbles into one of those time loop situations somehow connected to a particle accelerator the company he’s working at develops. Since apparently a part of resolving it will consist of him saving the scientist (Helen Slater) he has had a silent crush on for ages from being gunned down in the street, he’s certainly motivated to get time back to turning again. There’s just a bit of a conspiracy to clear up to put things right again.

Based on a short by Richard Lupoff, this time loop movie is a TV production that mixes romantic comedy, a bit of science fiction and thriller elements to generally entertaining effect.
The direction by veteran journeyman Jack Sholder certainly keeps the film’s timing and pace rolling along very effectively, getting it over a few bumpy moments in the script through the pull of a well-told tale.

Slater and the supporting cast are charming, effective, funny and/or Martin Landau. Early on, Silverman comes over as a bit of a layabout and a mild creep instead of the likeable dude with a boring job the film pretends he is, but once the plot gets going and he starts doing things beyond whining and pining for Slater’s character, I found myself rooting for him – even for the romantic fulfilment part.

It’s an entertaining, well-made and likeable little TV movie, and while its treatment of the time loop (or as it calls it, “time bump”) concept isn’t terribly original, it is always a fun set-up for all kinds of plot shenanigans. Here, the concept is used well on a comparatively small scale, certainly making 12:01 a nice way to while away a few hours-

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