Making the Grades
ZAK GIBBS (JESSE BRADFORD) GIVES NEW MEANING to the word zip when he discovers an unusual watch sent to his father by a former student. Fiddling with the clock's buttons, he throws himself into hyper-time -- an accelerated state in which the rest of the world seems to stand still. In cahoots with the beautiful new exchange student, Zak pulls off a spree of pranks on the "frozen" citizens of his town and helps his friend Meeker (Garikayi Mutambirwa) groove up his moves at a Rave DJ contest.
Zak and Francesca (Paula Garces), however, soon discover they're not the only ones whizzing around at hyper-speed. Henry Gates (Michael Biehn), head of Quantum Technologies, is tracking down Dr. Earl Dopler (French Stewart), the watch's creator. The company president has some self-seeking plans for the invention and wants to recover it before government officials get involved.
After Dopler asks Dr Gibbs (Robin Thomas), Zak's father, to help him solve the rapid aging defect of the timepiece, their entire family is suddenly threatened. Gates and his thugs kidnap Dad, taking him to their underground lab where they force him to finish the time altering device. But Zak and Francesca aren't about to let the criminals get away with their evil design.
Filled with an array of special effects, this sci-fi flic raises the age-old dilemma of scientific discovery. While Dopler's breakthrough is designed to help doctors perform intricate life-saving surgery, it seems doomed instead to fall into the hands of a power-hungry villain.
Considering its teenaged protagonists, Clockstoppers comes in surprisingly short on content issues, even though adolescents and crooks employ nitrogen-shooting guns to slow down hyper-travelers. An extended car chase on city streets, some minor pranks, and a scene of shoplifting at a tradeshow are also included. Although relying on minors to save the day once again, this "kids-know-best film" does portray a father and son that come to understand one another, rather than just focusing on adult stupidity. While hyper-time may still be a storyline gimmick, the ability to move that fast will appeal to harried parents everywhere.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Clockstoppers.
Federal agents are worried about the possible repercussions if Dopler’s watch should fall into the wrong hands. How easy do you think it is for terrorists or criminals to access new inventions? Should scientists be held accountable for damage done by their creations? When does the usefulness of the discovery outweigh the risks is brings?
Dr. Gibbs believes that “awesome power brings awesome responsibility.” Teenagers experience an increase in privileges (such as driving, staying out later, and making more of their own choices) as they move from child to adult. What kinds of responsibilities accompany those freedoms? How do you prove to your parents that you can live up to those responsibilities?