Just as Nic Winding Refn’s Drive channelled the scuzzy nocturnal surfaces of LAs 1970s B-movies and earned him a Best Director at Cannes, so this year screeches in the Safdie brothers’ Good Time, a sort of Cassavetes-inspired, After Hours-ish crime odyssey through a New York night.
Robert Pattinson is very good, at last, as Connie, a bank robber who goes on the run with his mentally handicapped brother Nik (Benny Safdie). Pattinson plays it like a caged, angry reptile, always thinking and dodging and dashing out of tight spots. He’s George to Safdie’s Lenny.
However, he can’t always protect his brother and, after their initial heist backfires, the night’s travails continue when Pattinson then has to get together $10,000 of bail money. The stakes in the movie thus remain high, until a twist in the plot lurches the film into a vague kind of emptiness – a climax in a fair ground, a search for a bottle of acid, all in the company of some guy whose face we never see.
There’s a lot of style here, and energy from a propulsive electronic soundtrack – shame an intriguing story of two brothers on the lam gets lost in it.