Re-Watch: 12:01 (1993)

12:01 is a movie by Jack Sholder, based on Richard Lupoff‘s short story, starring Jonathan Silverman, Helen Slater, Jeremy Piven, Robin Bartlett and Martin Landau.

Barry (Jonathan Silverman) works in Human Resources in a reserch company, hating his job and pining after Lisa (Helen Slater), one of the scientists he hasn’t dared to talk to yet. What starts as an ordinary working day ends with Lisa getting shot, Barry getting drunk and then shocked by his nightstand lamp. When he wakes up the next morning, it isn’t the next morning at all, but the last day happening all over again. Now Barry is on a mission: He will use the time loop to save Lisa and to stop the loop from happening at all.

12:01 is one of those movies that you start watching – and then you realise that you’ve already seen it a long time ago when you were still a kid. I remember liking it then and I liked it now, too. It’s not awesomely brilliant or great, but it’s perfect afternoon TV.

Barry’s most defining trait is that he’s likeable. There’s a certain amount of charm to him, he’s rather intelligent (though not necessarily an overachiever) and sometimes he is even genuinely funny. And that’s pretty much also a perfect summation of the film.

Jonathan Silverman is the perfect choice to play him. Generally speaking, the casting was really good. It was just a little disappointing that we didn’t get more Martin Landau. But Robin Bartlett more than makes up for that.

It’s noticeable that the film was made for TV and that there wasn’t a huge budget. But they make the best of it and it works very well. Especially since the script is good, particularly the dialogues. There’s some very nice banter there.

The movie moves along at a good pace and with quite some attention to details. Only the “science” behind it seems completely ludicrous. I don’t know if it actually is (I’m thinking yes) but they just couldn’t sell it to me.

Summarising: Very watchable.

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