The Safdie brothers (“Daddy Longlegs” & “Heaven Knows What”) return to the big screen with a neo-noir crime drama driven by a stupendous performance from Robert Pattinson, and an utterly enthralling script. The intensity and emotion builds in “Good Time” very authentically and gradually, slowly introducing the fury and tenacity behind Pattinson’s character, and how he’ll risk everything to save and protect his brother. “Good Time” is a barbarous and emotionally cruel effort that paints the Safdie brothers as genuine masters of suspense. Every moment in “Good Time” plays with your emotions as much as you wish it didn’t. You find yourself constantly changing your perception and feelings of the characters on-screen, mostly because their actions can be questionable and morally complex.
“Good Time” follows Constantine Nikas (Robert Patterson) as he goes down a risky and dangerous journey to get his brother Nick (Benny Safdie) out of prison, after a bank robbery went terribly south and landed him in there in the first place. Extremely desperate and furious, he does everything he can to get his brother out of prison, even if it means unleashing ferocious acts of violence and immoral actions to get him back. “Good Time” has an incredible opening sequence that sets the emotional bond between the two brothers with quick-witted dialogue. The film doesn’t explore the two brother’s relationship with a long and insightful history, instead it conveys their devastating love for each other with brief exchanges and stellar facial reactions. The opening sequence is the vital area of the film that is able build the brothers undeniable, yet completely destructive love for each other that will never be able to function in a singular direction. Their relationship is a tangled mess that will only spiral out of control. The movie exhibits Nick as a vulnerable and sensitive character, while Constantine is exhibited as a troubled and precarious character who has calamitous tendencies. It’s Constantine’s fault that his brother is contained in prison, but he truly loves his brother, and his brother truly loves him. The first act is an emotionally conflicted beginning that is even more devastating because of the fact that these two brothers won’t be able to stay in each other’s lives without tearing each other apart by their own doing.
The second act takes a more suspenseful approach as Constantine starts to elaborate a plan to save his brother. It really is admirable how the Safdie brothers execute the violence and suspense in the movie. The compelling score constructs a strong feeling of adrenaline, while the neon colors and urban setting makes the film stand-out on a technical and visual level. “Good Time” creates an unrelenting and foreboding atmosphere, like every second of this ruthless motion picture is an unceasing display of sheer anxiety and concern. Robert Pattinson in particular, gives an astounding performance that shows the strength of family and determination, but also shows the characteristic flaws of simply being human. The second act is a measured execution of heart-pounding suspense, from the lively score to the spellbinding performance from Robert Pattinson.
The last act of “Good Time” is where the film explores the devastating love of the brothers through a deeper scope. The movie’s final moments are the most heart-breaking segments that conveys the two brothers doomed relationship, but the pay-off to the intriguing narrative set in place still isn’t as satisfying as it could have been. As a matter of fact, the film’s pacing can sometimes be troubling, as the transitions between exhilaration and dramatic impact can be a little stodgy. Nonetheless, “Good Time” is the kind of neo-noir crime thriller that swiftly strolls through genres with expertise, while also exhibiting its characters and story with utter realism. This indie neo-noir crime drama has a lot of great things going for it, and one of them happens to include ex-Twilight star Robert Pattinson giving a flat-out mesmerizing performance.