Clockstoppers

Rated NR

With this re-heated dish of cheesy special effects, children’s TV giant Nickelodeon tries unsuccessfully to do for science fiction what Spy Kids did for espionage thrillers—make ’em kid-friendly. Attractive teens Jesse Bradford and Paula Garces are the teen heroes who discover a nifty wrist watch that can stop time, or at least slow it down. Or maybe it just makes them speed up. Or something. The device on which the entire plot hinges is never quite clear about just what it does, and cool high-tech FX (which in other films can make up for plot weaknesses) are in short supply. Adult fiction, most notably Nicholson Baker’s creepy novel The Fermata, has in the past explored this fantasy in greater depth. If kids (and their parents) demand smarter kids’ films, they’re going to have to stick for the moment with Shrek and Monsters, Inc.

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