57 Seconds loosely adapts the short story Lucifer! by author E.C. Tubb. Directed by Rusty Cundieff, the science fiction film follows an investigative journalist with a dark past who finds a time-travelling ring that can take him back in time, but only for 57 seconds.
Where can you watch 57 Seconds in the UAE?
Franklin (Josh Hutcherson) is a freelance writer with a keen interest in technology’s power to improve health after losing his sister to an opioid overdose. Keen to meet Anton Burrell (Morgan Freeman), the CEO of a tech company selling high-tech wellness bracelets, Franklin sneaks into his new product launch event by posing as a door lackey. After unexpectedly saving Anton’s life from an assassin, Franklin gets not only the interview he desperately wanted but also finds a ring with the power of a rewind button.
After the event, Franklin spends a bit of time wow-ing the love interest, Jala (Lovie Simone), before using the ring to get a job working for the pharmaceutical company responsible for his sister’s death, operated by the evil CEO Sig Thorensen (Greg Germann). While Franklin’s plan involves exposing Sig for the monster he is, the young man is soon intoxicated by the money and status his new job promises.
Of course, Sig also has an ulterior motive for hiring Franklin as he believes the young man is some sort of corporate spy for Anton.
Many seconds of wasted potential
On paper, 57 Seconds has all the makings of a brilliant entry to the science fiction genre. It’s got a stellar and talented cast, including the legendary Morgan Freeman, and it has a thought-provoking premise that mixes time travel with Big Pharma and the growing trend of tech wellness brands. But the actual movie is a nonsensical, dull affair with a protagonist who’s as annoying as his continuous voice-over.
As a character, Franklin acts like a 12-year-old in an adult’s body. He first uses the ring to manipulate his love interest into dating him. Then he heads to a casino where he attracts the wrong kind of attention by never losing before finally buying a flashy sports car. He never seems to think anything through, making his journey frustrating to watch.
The so-called love story between Franklin and Jaala is a senseless plotline the movie could have done without. There’s almost no on-screen chemistry between the two young actors, making their fast-tracked engagement a hard sell.
While Josh Hutcherson does a decent job with the script he was given, his character is so unlikable it’s close to impossible to care about anything that happens on screen. Morgan Freeman’s performance is adequate as the wellness tech genius with a robotic human as an assistant. Greg Germann’s character is too much of a cartoon villain to be taken seriously.
Despite having an exciting premise, the film is just a mismatch of concepts that make little sense when placed together. We never understand why the ring only goes back 57 seconds or why Freeman’s character has a semi-robotic humanoid for an assistant. It seems the filmmakers threw things together, hoping they’ll blend in nicely, but they don’t.
What are other critics saying about 57 Seconds (Video Reviews):
SFTN liked the cool premise and the way the film portrays the time jumps but criticized the generic characters and the many plot holes.
Lori C. is an entertainment writer who studied Film and Television at University. She watches and reviews films and series from most genres, but some of her favourites include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, The Handmaid’s Tale, Westworld, and True Blood.