5ive Days To Midnight


Directed by Michael W Watkins

Written by David Aaron Cohen, Robert Zappia, Anthony Peckham and Cindy Myers

Starring Timothy Hutton, Kari Matchett, Randy Quaid, Gage Golightly and Hamish Linklater

This is a Canadian mini-series made by David Kirshner Productions (the same production company that made ‘Seed of Chucky’) for the Sci-Fi Channel. It was broadcast in four episodes in June 2004.

It stars Timothy Hutton, living proof that being an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner does not mean you will automatically become a “film star”, Randy Quaid and Kari Matchett. I have just finished watching it for the third time.

Hutton plays a psychics professor who has recently lost his wife. His young daughter is also dealing with this loss, as well as coming to terms with her father’s new companion, played by Kari Matchett. The daughter is played by Gage Golightly, who reminded me of Drew Barrymore, although lacking Barrymore’s screen charisma. Golightly was one of the cast of ‘Heartland’, the recently cancelled TNT show that starred Kari Matchett.

A mysterious attaché case, seemingly from the future, contains a police file about the unsolved murder of Hutton’s character, a murder that takes place five days after the discovery of the case at the graveside of his wife. He now has five days to prevent his murder from happening.

The story has a lot of twists and turns, many of them verging on the utterly implausible, although for some reason it quickly dispenses with any interest in the fact that the case and enclosed documents have clearly been sent back from some point in the far future –- the only thing that gives the story its “sci-fi” tag.

There are many flaws, not least of which are the numerous cheap visual tricks (slow-motion shots, for example), but it starts out well. The first episode is good enough to make it worthwhile watching on. Episodes two and three sustain enough interest to continue. The whole thing only finally collapses in the final episode, which degenerates into a long-winded and not altogether exciting chase, complete with an ending that doesn’t exactly come as a big surprise.

On the plus side, the cast is likeable and it’s fun to watch.

“Timothy Hutton, a personal favourite of mine, is good here, able to portray an intelligent person pushed in an extraordinary situation… 5ive Days to Midnight is a miniseries of above average quality, thanks to its exciting plot, good performances, and dense production design.” Rachel Sexton: MovieFreak.com


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