Members of the Aztec community hunt down one of their own who has spirited away several important items including a disk that has the power to stop time (no, kiddies, it’s not Peggle) and an amulet. Just as he is about to be executed, the amulet glows green and he disappears. So begins Justin Time.
Fast forward to present-day, knuckle-dragging hoods roaming the halls of their high school. Their football-playing leader has got some poor schnook named Harvey up against the lockers demanding that Harvey (Alyx Gaudio) surrender the footballer’s homework. Lucky for Harvey his friend Justin (Chris Laird) happens along and averts a beat down.
Next, we learn that the time-stopping disk has been handed down as a family heirloom, and the current pater familias (Michael Flynn) is showing it to his privileged daughter, Angelique (Shareece Pfeiffer). At the same time, an uncle (Brian Wimmer) is giving his nephew, Justin, an amulet that has been handed down in his family. Justin happens to be half-Shoshone, and the amulet is part of his legacy. His parents’ death is somehow linked to the amulet.
Angelique’s dad uses the disk to stop time and rip off drug dealers. She disapproves even though he uses the money in a variety of charitable applications. The first time we see him stop time, everyone is frozen in place except Justin, whose amulet also stops time. We soon learn that Dad has less noble uses for the disk and, more importantly, that when the disk and amulet are used together, they allow the user to look into the future and travel into the past. Justin, being an intellectual, uses the amulet to play practical jokes on high school jocks.
His Captain Jack Sparrow fixation notwithstanding, Justin is a rather glum individual. It just so happens that he works in a candy shop and Angelique likes candy. Is it magic that brings the two of them together? Magic is at work for Harvey; his heavily bruised eye inexplicably heals from one scene to the next. Soon after Angelique and Justin meet, they are snowboarding together along with Harvey and Dad (on skis).
When Justin saves Angelique’s life, Dad becomes certain Justin has the amulet which he is desperately seeking. Complicating things are vengeance-bound drug dealers, Native American bad boys, asinine high school hi-jinx, a very strange parking lot security man, and an awful lot of duct tape.
Through brilliant deductive reasoning (or maybe familiarity with the formula), the viewer discerns that big decisions are coming up and they concern good and evil. In order to facilitate our understanding of the plot, flashbacks are provided, and they make as much sense as the rest of the hodgepodge.
An important thing to keep in mind is that Justin Time is not intended for mature audiences. Most high school students are too sophisticated for its thin premise and unrealistic characters. Tweens may find the story enchanting, and not notice that Justin looks more like a young investment banker than a starry-eyed teenager. Conflicts between good and evil are fairly tame, and the language and love scenes are squeaky clean. This direct-to-video offering does not include extra features and is not rated; it includes some violence but not as much as children can see on Nickelodeon. The look and tone is similar to Hannah Montana, although the plot is less plausible.
Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent Justin Time? No, but I’d probably love it if I were eleven.