Short Time Review

by William Thomas |
Published on
Release Date:

04 May 1990

Running Time:

97 minutes



Original Title:

Short Time

Thanks to a mix-up with the urine samples, play-it-safe, look-out-for-the-future cop Burt Simpson (Coleman), who has a week to go before his retirement, is convinced that he has just two and a half weeks to live and that, if he is to provide for his ex-wife and his son, he must therefore die in the line of duty and thus let them pick up the insurance. So, from being a nervy chicken, he suddenly turns into a gung-ho Bullitt clone and, in the hope that he'll croak, takes off after cop-killing scum arms dealer Xander Berkeley.

This premise could have made for a really tasteless, hilarious, sicko farce, but someone somewhere decided that the script had something to say and wrote in all these life-affirming scenes in which Burt tells his wife, son, best friend, etc. how much he loves them, not to mention wistful and philosophical speeches about suffering humanity and the wonder of life. Coleman obviously relishes the chance to do all this humane stuff, but it's hard not to feel that this would be a considerably more impressive movie if there were just a few more car crashes, shoot-outs and sick gags. And while there is about half an hour of good stuff here, it's all ludicrously over-plotted in such join-the-dots fashion that by the time the real plot comes along the whole thing seems to be half over.

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