According to reports, Robert Pattinson was so impressed with the Safdie brothers previous film, that he rang them to say he really wanted to be in one of their films.
The result, is this, Good Time, in which Pattinson (The Rover, The Twilight Saga) stars as Connie Nikas who, along with his brother Nick Nikas, Benny Safdie (Person To Person, Yeast), rob a bank, which is just the start of his problems.
The botched robbery sees the two running away from the cops and, whilst Pattinson gets away, Safdie isn’t so lucky and ends up in jail. This isn’t good as Safdie is mentally ill and doesn’t cope with prison very well.
In fact, that’s an understatement, and very quickly Safdie finds himself on the end of some fists and feet that leave him in hospital.
Pattinson decides to do whatever he can to get his brother out of there and heads to the hospital he’s told his brother is. What follows is a, probably shouldn’t be but is, hilarious and yet unflinching account of one-man’s desperate attempt to save his brother and avoid the police at all costs.
Things lurch from bad to worse as Pattinson picks up all sorts of stragglers along the way and his night goes downhill quickly.
Writers Ronald Bronstein (Heaven Knows What, Frownland) and Josh Safdie (Heaven Knows What, Daddy Longlegs) craft this nightmare other world in which most of us won’t have any connection with. But with excellent writing and brilliant performances from both Pattinson and Benny Safdie we feel like we’re there.
Behind the camera both Josh and Benny bring a very gritty feel to proceedings. That’s not to say it isn’t good, on the contrary.
The grittiness works perfectly, it brings a rawness and an edge to things and ramps the tension up wonderfully. I particularly liked the car-follow shots, very Grand Theft Auto-esq, very cool.
Barkhab Abdi (Captain Philips, Blade Runner 2049) pops up as a fairground security guard as well as Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Anomalisa) as Pattinson’s long-suffering girlfriend.
A third character, Donnie, Maynard Nicholl, was in the Safdie brothers previous film Heaven Knows What, and he’s a motormouth of a character who leaves you breathless just listening to him.
Good Time is a great film with a performance from Pattinson that should go a long way to shaking off those Twilight typecast thoughts he, or anyone else, may still have about him.
It’s a simple premise and a simple story but sometimes that’s all you need as long as it’s done well and the Safdie brothers have done it well.