40 SECONDS

40 SECONDS
3 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 17 minutes
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Watching “40 Seconds” was like looking at a jigsaw puzzle with one oddly malformed section—one big picture staring up at you, but one part that’s totally unrelated to the rest of the work. Like doing a jigsaw involving birds of the world, but here’s this whole upper left corner related to puppies.

So what we have here is the story of Katie, who attends a party and despite advice, hooks up with Max. Max has a rather nifty looking wristwatch with a special feature—and it’s not a section indicating the phase of the moon. This wristwatch has the ability to describe for its wearer what will happen forty seconds in the future, with unerring quality.

Or so we believe….

Which is an interesting premise—it really hasn’t been done before. Movies like “Premonition” have given it a shot, but even those don’t predict with such regularity as the forty-second-watch.

The first minute was a real shocker, and I was definitely encouraged to see how and if it would fit into the rest of the movie. But I don’t need a future predicting watch to tell that, if the first minute of the movie can hold my attention, the rest of the movie is almost certainly going to be good as well. And as it turned out, it was.

But back to the puppies on our birds of the world puzzle. Around the middle of the movie, we get this wildly out of place sequence in which a hefty guy named Angel slips on an errant shrimp dropped on the ground by a fellow party-goer. Max’s watch, naturally, knows it was coming, but it was just really out of place to get this pratfall in the middle of what was shaping up almost to be a psychological thriller.

Picture Hannibal Lecter getting a banana crème pie to the puss while interrogating Clarice Starling and you’ll see exactly what I mean. It’s funny, sure…it’s just wildly inappropriate.

The ending, however, makes up for this with a big twist ending with an incredible ironic punch.

All in all, despite a mismatched sequence in the middle, “Forty Seconds” still turns out to be quite good. Not quite as good as it could have been, but still plenty good.



Posted on May 17, 2006 in Reviews by
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