Clockstoppers review

Jonathan "Commander Riker" Frakes leaves the Star Trek stable for the first time to direct this unambitious Nickelodeon fantasy, in which a couple of fresh-faced teens stumble upon a hi-tech wristwatch with the power to bring time to a standstill.

It's a neat gimmick - who wouldn't want to freeze time, if only to rob a bank or make magazine deadlines less painful - but neither boffin's son Zak (Jesse Bradford) nor exchange student Francesca (Paula Garcés) use it creatively. So what should have been a gleeful exercise in wish fulfillment becomes a predictable, effects-laden caper, as our dull heroes try to stop Michael "How did I get from The Terminator to this?" Biehn getting his hands on the timepiece.

Frakes handles the action competently, but without enough flair to suggest he should ignore those Star Trek conventions just yet. In fact, it's hard to forget that The Bourne Identity's Doug Liman was originally scheduled to direct. With his energy and imagination, that would have been interesting.

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