Jan 01 // Geoff Henao @videocognito
I love independent action movies because of how gritty and cheesy they can be. They don't rely on big budget explosions or special effects, but awesome action scenes mixed with fun, self-aware one-liners. What better way to combine the two than with a former WWE wrestler. Read on to see what I thought about Overtime.
Directors: Brian Cunningham and Matt Niehoff
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Raph (Al Snow) and Max (John Wells) are hired killers employed by a highly-respected attorney, Sam (Katie Stewart)... even if the people they're killing are Sam's former clients. After finishing a job, Raph and Max return to Raph's home, only to find out Raph forgot his young son's birthday. To make things worse, Sam needs one final job done before she can pay the two in full. Facing the wrath of his infuriated wife, Raph attempts to rush through the job in order to return to the birthday party in time. Unfortunately, things escalate to a level the two never would have expected.
Overtime blends light comedy with gritty action, creating a psuedo-dark comedic tone for the film. Raph and Max, whether facing a hail of bullets or close quarters attacks from zombie-like creatures, are quick to lighten the mood with a quip or out of place laughter. As I've stated a few times so far, there's a level of cheesiness to the film that can't be overlooked. I'm unsure if it's intentional or not, but it helps to create a B-level tone that honestly aids the film's overall entertainment.
There's one scene about 3/4 of the way in where Raph, Max, and a few others are facing an attack inside of a building. One female character says something along the lines of, "Just bring me to the shaft and I'll take care of the rest" to which Raph made an obvious retort while Max forced out a laugh. This is a prime example of how cheesy Overtime can be. Sometimes, it's acceptable and hilarious; other times, it just feels forced and stilted.
There's this sense of hesitancy when some of the actors deliver their lines. Dialogue, at times, doesn't feel natural. Usually, something like this would be a minor issue and to point it out would just be nitpicking, but it's too noticeable to ignore in Overtime. The story itself is pretty straightforward, although the touch of balancing Raph's professional life with his family life was a good one that helped shape his character a bit. The birthday subplot further helped add another layer to an otherwise straightforward film.
Overtime has a lot of polish, which will help separate it from other independent action films, but the acting is too noticeably spotty. It's like a polished, restrained B-movie without the level of outrageousness most B-movies have. If you can look past the dialogue, Overtime is well worth the price. Cunningham and Neihoff show promise, and Snow is actually more entertaining than I expected him to be. I definitely wouldn't mind an Overtime 2: Son of Overtime.
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THE VERDICT: 50/100
Overtime - Reviewed by Geoff Henao
Average. By the time you read this, I will have already forgotten about this movie.
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