Clockstoppers

This innocuous sci-fi fantasy, aimed for teens and below, concerns a young man (Jesse Bradford) who stumbles across a wristwatch created by his aloof inventor dad that can slow time to a crawl – allowing the wearer to move at lightning fast speeds.

The old "I have a device that can stop time for anybody but me" gimmick is at least as old as several Twilight Zone episodes, as well as Nicholson Baker's pseudo-porn novel The Fermata and the 1970s TV movie The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything (which starred Robert Hays, Pam Dawber, and even Morgan Fairchild).

However shopworn, it's still a neat idea. And Clockstoppers, though no classic, is entertaining enough for the audience it's aimed at. Bradford is likable and has good chemistry with his leading lady, the rather foxy Paula Garces. Frakes, following the idealism of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the series that made him famous, has a glowingly multiracial cast: aside from the Latina Garces, Bradford's best buddy is black, and one of the villains is an Asian woman (who knows martial arts, of course – oh well, you can't escape all stereotypes). French Stewart is also amusing as a "dude!"-spouting fellow inventor who knows the secret behind the wristwatch.

Other than an appealing cast, you've got some cool "bullet time" effects, a fairly predictable storyline, and some dumb jokes. There's no reason you should see Clockstoppers, but don't feel guilty if you find yourself enjoying it. In any event, in a few years it will definitely serve as a fashion and music time capsule for 2002.