Until now, Zak Gibbs' greatest challenge has been to find a way to buy a car. But when he discovers an odd wristwatch amidst his father's various inventions and slips it on--something very strange happens. The world around him seems to come to a stop, everything and everybody frozen in time. Zak quickly learns how to manipulate the device and he and his quick-witted and beautiful new friend, Francesca, start to have some real fun. But Zak and Francesca soon find out they are not alone in "Hypertime."
"What if you had the power to stop time?" ask the advertisements for "Clockstoppers," a science-fiction adventure tale from the movie division of Nickelodeon, the children's cable channel. To the film's intended audience of tweeners the newly identified demographic category that lies between fading childhood innocence and the full hormone rush of high adolescence the answer to that question would be as obvious at it is to the film's young hero, Zak (Jesse Bradford). The power to stop time is, of course, best used to impress girls. If "Clockstoppers" had been made for a slightly older audience, Zak's first stop would probably have been the girls' shower room. But as directed by Jonathan Frakes, the film's spirit owes more to the old-fashioned idealism of Tom Swift and the Hardy Boys than it does to the rowdiness of "American Pie." – Dave Kehr
2002-03-29 | Dave Kehr | Read the New York Times Review of Clockstoppers