ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – A – Against the Clock (2019) Movie Review


Director: Mark Polish

Writer: Mark Polish (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Pemberton, Dianna Agron, Andy Garcia, James Frain, Justin Bartha, Jay Karnes, Bar Paly, Mark Polish

Plot: A CIA agent is sent on a mission and ends up in a coma. CIA want to extract intel from his brain a lethal way but his wife says no. His comatose mind is active. She decides to investigate.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Against the Clock starts when Kelley Chandler (Polish) is injured on his latest mission, he is left in a coma. Tess (Argon), Kelley’s wife wants to support him through the coma, knowing the CIA will want to get inside his head, which will see her starting to investigate what happened.

Gerald Hotchkiss (Garcia) runs the program which can explore the mind of a comatose patient and wants to use it to learn the information he has discovered, it is left to Peter Hobbs (Bartha) to try and convince Tess to let his mind free.

Thoughts on Against the Clock

Characters & Performances – Tess is the wife of the victim, she refuses to let the CIA gain accent to his mind, using her own investigatory stills to learn what he discovered. She is determined not to let the CIA get the information that will end up killing her husband. This is a strong character Dianna Agron gets to bring us, being one of the few ground characters in the film. Kelley is the husband of Tess, he has been injured in an attack leaving him in a coma, his mind is still very active, with him going through a host of experiences to unlock what he remembers, fighting his own mind along the way. Mark Polish takes this role alongside his directing duty, he does do a lot of the work away from the rest of the cast against the visions of his mind. Gerald Hotchkiss is running the program that wants the information that Kelley has and will push his people into getting it at any means necessary. Andy Garcia is here, doing all he can with his role in the film, offering up more of the back story going on. The rest of the cast don’t get to make the impact they would like either in the film, leaving a lot of the film is struggle to make an impact.

StoryThe story here follows the wife of a CIA agent fighting against the CIA about who is going to have control of his mind after he is place into a coma, with both wanting to get the information he has gathered. When it comes to this story, we are entering the place where things get messy. The concept is an idea we have seen similar ideas to in the past, look as Source Code for the best example of this. We find ourselves dealing with a lot of weird vision material, which is lots of quick cuts, while being the same all the time too. The story is trying to dig into a bigger attack potentially coming, which we don’t get enough focus on, leaving us without much going on other than the control of power.

ThemesAgainst the Clock is a sci-fi thriller that is trying so hard to give us something more edgy, it feels to use the effects to create the tension is desires, leaving us feeling like we could have had more, instead of the fuzzy visions, which could work well, but end up feeling like they give us a headache.

Final Thoughts Against the Clock is a thriller that gets lost in the execution of the story.

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