Cuba Gooding Jr. is a busy actor. Too bad though that most of what he does falls into the direct-to-video category. When you see films like this one you understand why. It has all the potential in the world with the great idea of making it about a crime reporter who stumbles upon the writings of a murderer that lists in detail how they are going to go about killing their victims. Sounds good, no? Creepy and intense, right? Well, after coming up with that premise and selling the idea to a studio the ball was dropped.
Crime reporter Lewis Hicks (Cuba Gooding Jr. – Pearl Harbor, As Good As it Gets) specializes in writing stories about murder and murderers. After his own girlfriend is brutally murdered Hicks decides to find out who killed her and write a story about it. While investigating for his latest story he comes across the journal of the killer with details about his past victims and a list of his future victims. Hicks believes that he is the only one who can stop the killer and so goes out on his own to find him before he kills the next victim on the list. This leads him to a nine-year-old boy (Austin Abrams – first film) living at an orphanage. As some things come to light Hicks begins to realize that the mystery surrounding the murders is even deeper than he suspected.
Even though it was apparent from pretty much the beginning that this was not going to be a strong movie I still tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. I was played for a fool. The faith I showed returned nada to me. Lies and more lies! On the cover of the Blu-ray this film is compared to films like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs. Let me tell you that Ticking Clock is nothing like these two good and creepy films. NOTHING!
As a thriller or suspense film it is supposed to go about building tension within the viewer, but is so contrived and predictable that it has no more tension than a loose guitar string. Right from the beginning there is no creepiness or tension and as a result you are not encouraged to keep watching or be interested in the least. Even the twist is so ridiculous that it only detracts from the film.
The casting in the film was horrible, so much so that I wondered at points if they were going for that B movie over-the-top stuff. But no, it was being done in all seriousness, just very badly.