David Thompson, in his discussion of Carl Franklin as a director in his Autobiographical Dictionary Of Film, mentions how good he is a directing multi-racial films without drawing attention to this aspect. Out Of Time is another addition to this canon. And for the most part it is a fun con thriller, for once concentrating on the mark rather than the all too smug grifters.

Unfortunately for Denzel Washington’s slightly dim police chief to get his (potentially undeserved) revenge, our conmen also have to be even dimmer. This flaw in construction and the fact that the film does not have enough gags prevents it from being anything more than well acted, well directed but poorly written fluff. The credit sequence suggests a nice and Keysey Carl Hiiasen / Elmore Leonard bit of fun. Did nobody tell the writer than this is the hardest thing to do? You don’t just need likeable characters, but you also need a plot which makes sense and whilst also being quirky enough to be amusing. Instead all the elements here are thrown into the air, without any thought as how to successfully land them. And would a homicide detective ex-wife really return to her corrupt ex-husband just to stop him doing something so stupid again? It is great to have a film where the women are the most intelligent characters, just don’t make them belie that intelligence at the end for the sake of the Hollywood ending.