Nick of Time

Year: 1995
Studio: Paramount
Director: John Badham
Producer: John Badham
Writer: Patrick Sheane Duncan
Cast: Johnny Depp, Christopher Walken, Roma Maffia, Charles S Dutton, Peter Strauss

The high concept hook of this movie is lost in the mists of time for many, but it was all told from the real time viewpoint of the helpless protagonist Gene (Depp).

He plays a mild-mannered accountant who arrives in LA by train with his little girl and finds himself mixed up in the proverbial web of intrigue. Two strangers posing as law enforcement officers of some sort swoop on him and tell him he needs to follow them, encouraging him to do just that by picking his daughter up and carrying her off.

In the melee and rush of the conference going on around them it's easy for Gene to be overwhelmed by a strange woman hurrying through a crowd with his child in her arms and when they get him somewhere quiet, the pair reveal their nefarious motives.

They're actually assassins. They hand over a gun and tell him if he doesn't kill the Governor during a public appearance in 90 minutes time they'll kill the kid. It gives Gene 90 minutes to figure out a way out of the mess, and we follow the tension and occasional burst of violence with him throughout every minute. It's not the best thriller around, but certainly not the blandest either.

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