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Nick of Time Reviews

Fittingly enough for a holiday release, a gimmicky trifle that doesn't work the way it's supposed to. Regular guy Johnny Depp is returning from his wife's funeral with his adorable daughter in tow. Next thing he knows, nasty Christopher Walken and vicious Roma Maffia have snatched the child and presented him with a monstrous choice: He can murder nice California Governor Marsha Mason or kiss his little girl good-bye. Just why two diabolical masterminds think that recruiting a mild-mannered, gun-shy accountant is the best way to assassinate a politician is only the first of many annoying questions raised by John Badham's ambitious, misconceived film. The gimmick? This 89-minute thriller unfolds in real time -- the action begins at noon and ends at 1:30 p.m. -- which is supposed to be furiously suspenseful. Instead, you're forced to sit through long, boring scenes in bathrooms and taxis, and the effect is almost as trying and tedious as life itself.