The makers of the kiddie sci-fi fantasy Clockstoppers came up with what looks like an amusing bit of F/X razzmatazz. The gee-whiz teen heroes, a car buff (Jesse Bradford) and a cutie-pie exchange student (Paula Garces), find a wristwatch that has the ability to stop time. With one flick of a button, everything appears to freeze, and the watch-wearer gets zapped into ”hypertime.” There, the eager young clockstoppers exist freely (they’re actually moving very fast), while the rest of the world slows to a standstill.
The trouble is, the movie gives its characters virtually nothing to do with their newfound power. At one point, the exchange student (whose Spanish accent is truly a matter of relativity) passes her hand through drops of sprinkler water that remain magically aloft. That’s about it for invention.
”Clockstoppers” has nothing to offer but its one meager technological trick, and before you know it, the trick disappears. The chintzy miracle of hypertime all but drops out of the movie, making it feel as if we’re watching a super-early rough cut of ”Spy Kids” in which they haven’t yet gotten around to adding the special effects. ”Clockstoppers” stops time, all right — it stretches 94 minutes into something that begins to feel like infinity.