The new feature from the Safdie Brothers, Good Time, is utterly incontrovertible proof of Robert Pattinson's talent. A skilled young actor who broke out young, Pattinson, like his equally skilled former co-star Kristen Stewart, has been plagued by his "Twilight" image, and accordingly (and unjustly) derided because of his involvement. The truth is that both Pattinson and Stewart are audacious and feverishly talented young actors, and Good Time will convince all who see it that Robert Pattinson is a fearless and versatile actor.
As an ashen-faced, stubble-laden, nervy-eyed criminal thrust into a constantly escalating trip into the recesses of city nightlife, where stakes are always high, Pattinson relishes in the opportunity to inhabit this character and fully realise all his traits. His pretty-boy-image disappears into an expertly assembled composite of agitated mannerisms and a thick Bronx-like brogue.
The film excels in its visuals. The Safdies adore neon light, which leads to many memorable neon-drenched sequences, such as an extended sequence in a haunted-house theme park that reels in the tension. Much of the film takes place at night, allowing for some atmospheric, neo-noir vibes to come to the fore. What also must be credited is the unrelenting pace of the film, living up to its cheeky title through constantly escalating stakes, a thunderously exciting electronic score and a plot that keeps throwing delightfully absurd and insane twists to keep you constantly engaged. Good Time been likened a lot to Dog Day Afternoon, Sidney Lumet's taut and incredible bank-heist-gone-wrong film, and it's a comparison that is apt, if a bit flattering; the Safdies come close to matching that film's inspired lunacy and delirious tension, through a decidedly more modern aesthetic.
The Safdies directorial style is unique, and I'll be honest it at times got on my nerves. I noticed early on that almost every shot is a close up, often hand-held, which can feel claustrophobic, but also just irritating. That being said, I grew used to the style, and eventually understood its purpose, in buttressing the manic instability of its protagonist, and his morally questionable odyssey. Even so, the style was not always seamless with the narrative. Make sure you don't sit too close to the screen when you watch this film.
Good Time is an exciting, pulsating, modernised noir/New Hollywood thriller that deserves a lot of praise for its terrific suspense and Pattinson's bravura turn.