Short Time

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"Getting killed isn't as easy as it looks."
  • PG-13
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 37 min
  • 6.3  (2,622)

Short Time is a 1990 American action-comedy film directed by Gregg Champion and starring Dabney Coleman, Matt Frewer, and Teri Garr. The story unfolds around Burt Simpson (Dabney Coleman), a dedicated police officer who has just learned that he has a rare and incurable disease. Given only a few months to live, he is desperate to provide for his family after his passing. Hoping to receive early retirement benefits, he tries to get himself killed while on duty, which backfires spectacularly.

Burt's plans for an early retirement stem from his deep sense of responsibility to his family. He has a wife, Caroline (Teri Garr), and a son, Dougie (Ross Malinger), and he wants to do everything he can to take care of them after his death. When he learns that he's going to die in a matter of months, he becomes fixated on ensuring that his family will be taken care of financially. Husband and wife discuss their financial future in detail, including the cost of college for their son and a lack of life insurance to safeguard his family for the future.

Burt's plan to get himself killed in the line of duty doesn't go well, and he somehow ends up being celebrated as a hero for his bravery. When he tries to put his plan in motion again, his new partner, Ernie Dills (Matt Frewer), suspects something is off and encourages Burt to embrace his remaining time alive. Meanwhile, the two cops find themselves on the trail of a psychopath, who has stolen a high-tech experimental weapon that Burt wants to get his hands on. Even as his time runs out, Burt is determined to do whatever it takes to leave his family with the means to carry on without him.

Throughout the film, we watch as Burt Simpson comes to terms with his mortality, exploring his options and learning what truly matters to him. He is a dedicated officer who has always strived to do the right thing and be a force for good in the community. He has also struggled with various issues affecting police officers, such as budget cuts, low morale, and a lack of support.

The movie's main theme is mortality, and how it impacts individuals and their families. As viewers, we get to see how Burt tries to come to terms with his inevitable death and ensure that his family is protected. It is heartrending to see him grappling with his mortality and trying to find a way to balance it with his responsibilities to his loved ones.

The chemistry between the actors is incredible, and they all deliver memorable performances. Dabney Coleman, in particular, is outstanding in the role of Burt. His portrayal of a man who has always lived by the book and is now facing his mortality is both touching and funny. Matt Frewer is a perfect foil to Coleman's character, playing the zany and unpredictable Ernie with impeccable timing and energy. Teri Garr as Burt's wife is excellent, demonstrating a range of emotions as she supports her husband through his declining health.

The film's mix of action, humor, and drama is well-balanced and keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. The plot twists are unexpected but always logical, ensuring that the story never becomes too predictable. The action sequences are well-choreographed and exciting, with a blend of practical and special effects that are still impressive today.

Overall, Short Time is an entertaining and heartfelt movie that explores the universal themes of mortality and the importance of family. The performances are outstanding, and the story is well-written, making this film an excellent choice for anyone looking for a good action-comedy with a touch of heart. Whether you're a fan of Dabney Coleman, Matt Frewer, or Teri Garr, this film will not disappoint.

Short Time
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 37 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.3  (2,622)