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Overtime (2012)
Review by Nic Brown

It was Shakespeare who said, “Kill all the lawyers”. He may have been right, at least when it comes to those who specialize in using legal loopholes and the ‘old-boys’ network to get criminals off the hook. Of course, there are other means of dealing with criminals the system can’t touch. Chun (Joel Grey) from “Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins” expressed it best when he said, “Assassination is the highest form of public service” in reference to the execution of those who think they are above the law. Filmmakers Matt Niehoff and Brian Cunningham follow that idea as the starting point for their film “Overtime”.

Attorney Samantha Carter (Katie Stewart) specializes in using all the legal tricks at her disposal to get some of the worst criminals in Louisville released. Of course, she is extremely well paid for this, and she in turn puts that money to good use, paying hitmen Raph (Al Snow) and Max (John Wells) to take out these criminals.

Raph and Max may be hitmen, but first they are friends and partners. Their relationship reminds one of the really good buddy-action flicks from the 80’s and 90’s, like the “Lethal Weapon” series. They exchange casual banter and Max, the younger single man, is a welcome member of Raph’s family. Unfortunately for Raph, that family is causing him some serious problems. It’s his son’s birthday and Raph has to come up with an awesome present, a cake for the party… oh and a clown. Maybe if it was his day off that would be one thing, but he and Max have to take out the supplier for a drug operation.

As Raph and Max work to solve all of the birthday related problems, they also track their target to a warehouse/chemical laboratory. They enter the building not really knowing what to expect, but being attacked by zombies with nasty, infection-spreading stingers on their shoulders was definitely not it.  The duo end up trapped with a group of scientists including Stephanie (Sebrina  Siegel), Monica  (Erica Goldsmith) and Greg (James Tackett). Greg it turns out is their target, but they can’t just take him; the chemical Greg has been adding to the drugs he is supplying is actually the cause of the zombie infestation in the lab. To make it worse, these aren’t just any zombies; the source of the chemical is of extraterrestrial origin. That’s right, they’re zombie aliens!

So now Raph and Max have to figure out a way to stop the zombie aliens, or zaliens, from escaping the lab and spreading their infection to the entire world. And they only have an hour to do it or they’ll be late for Raph’s son’s party and that would be the end of his world.

“Overtime” is a movie that really tries to jam it all into one: it’s an action flick, it’s a comedy, it’s a zombie movie, and it’s a buddy film. Normally, trying to combine this many elements into one movie would not work, but filmmakers Niehoff and Cunningham manage to pull it off. The humor works, the action is fun, and they bring in plenty of laughs and a few surprises to boot.

Perhaps “Overtime’s” biggest strength is the on screen relationship between Raph and Max. Al Snow and John Wells bring fantastic chemistry to the screen. Their banter is witty and has that rare ring of truth to it that shows a real connection between the actors. Wells and Snow also exhibit excellent comedic timing, managing to keep the humor real and not forced. “Overtime” is essentially a buddy film that has zombies, aliens, hitmen, and clowns as icing on the birthday cake. While “Overtime” doesn’t bring a lot of new material to any of the genres it mixes together, the way it mixes them is what makes the original in its own way. So check out Matt Niehoff and Brian Cunningham’s “Overtime”. It’s a fun mish-mash that will leave you hoping for more of the adventures of Raph and Max… and with an unnatural craving for birthday cake…. I love cake.


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