Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Time" lacks logical plot

Cleveland Press July 19, 1971

"Speeding Up Time," which is having its first public performance at the Continental Theater, claims to be -- according to its advance publicity -- "a valid and conscious portrayal of black America today and the black revolution."

It doesn't live up to its claims. It is about a black poet who is involved in some undefined way in the black revolution -- but that does not make a it a movie about black America or the black revolution.

The film is the work of writer, producer and director John Evans whose previous credits include a list of documentaries.

The biggest flaw in the movie Is the script which concentrates on individual scenes but fails to tie them into a comprehensible or logical plot. The result is a choppy, inept narrative in which things happen without explanation.

A poet (Winston Thrash) is trying to find the mysterious person behind the fire that caused his mother's death. This isn't clear right off, partly due to some badly recorded dialog. As he gets closer to the mysterious person, he is beaten up by a couple of thugs.

After telling his girl friend not to worry we next find him in the office of Mr. Big himself. How he penetrated the organization and left it powerless to protect the head man isn't shown or even explained

Evans has provided his movie with some of the standard trappings of today's action flicks -- a wild fight, an automobile chase, a beating and a steamy bedroom scene. He mixes these up with flashbacks, zoom shots and tricky angles.

He knows how to use his camera in the slick, professional way of television photography, but it is just so much wasted effort.

What the movie needs most of all is a story -- and that it lacks.