The NSA-funded Quantum Tech (QT) Corporation has slated a project to develop Hypertime, a technology which allows the user's molecules to speed up to the point where the world appears in standstill. NSA ends the project due to its high amount of risk. However, QT leader Henry Gates plans on using the technology to control the leader of NSA and dominate the world. He uses the prototype to stretch the weekend in order to give his lead scientist Earl Dopler time to fix the remaining glitch in the technology after his henchmen Richard and Jay prevent Earl's incognito departure at the airport. However, Earl being in Hypertime for too long has resulted in him aging rapidly in real time, with his molecular age continued at the same rate despite time slowing down.
However, initially unknown to Gates, Dopler had sent a prototype to his former colleague Dr. George Gibbs. Gibbs' son Zak, of which he has a strained relationship, discovers the watch accidentally and initially uses it for fun. Zak wins the heart of Francesca, a new Venezuelan girl at the school. Once Gates finds out about the leaked prototype, he sends his henchmen after Zak, who break into his house and search for evidence. Upon learning about the ulterior motive of QT Corporation, Zak sets out to warn his father of the danger he could be in.
A chase ensues, with Zak crashing the car into a river, thus damaging the watch. He awakes in the hospital and barely evades Jay and Richard. He then goes in search of a hiding spot, after having been accused of stealing a van by the police. In a bid to retrieve the watch, QT Corporation enlists the help of national security agencies and portray Zak and his father as wanted fugitives. Zak goes on the run with Francesca, locating the hotel that Gibbs was staying at, with Dopler also in pursuit of Gibbs. However, QT reach Gibbs first and kidnap him.
Zak and Francesca wander the streets aimlessly before being captured by Dopler. However, Francesca knocks Dopler out and she and Zak take Dopler hostage. Dopler reluctantly agrees to help save Gibbs, helps mend the broken watch, and creates guns which can take someone out of Hypertime and back into normal time. The guns are loaded with paintballs filled with frozen nitrogen, and the low temperature "freezes" a person back into normal time.
With Dolper's help, Zak and Francesca break in, but get caught by QT. The two are thrown in a cell with Zak's dad. Zak accelerates while in Hypertime and becomes "light", helping the others break out as NSA Agents arrive and defeat Gates' goons. Gates knocks Francesca out of Hypertime and prepares to do the same to Zak and his dad until Dopler arrives and defeats him. Gates and his henchmen are arrested, and the watches are confiscated.
Dopler uses the machine he was building to reverse his aging effects of Hypertime, but it inadvertently changes him back into a teenager (Miko Hughes), meaning he will have to live with the Gibbs family for a few years, though he still has the voice of his full grown self. Zak enters a relationship with Francesca, reconciles with his father, reunites with his family, and earns a car he wanted. As Zak speeds off in his car with his family and girlfriend, it is revealed that he has not returned the watch and continues to have fun in Hypertime.Jesse Bradford as Zak Gibbs
Paula Garcés as Francesca
French Stewart as Earl Dopler
Miko Hughes as young Earl Dopler
Michael Biehn as Henry Gates
Garikayi Mutambirwa as Meeker
Robin Thomas as Dr. George Gibbs
Julia Sweeney as Jenny Gibbs
Lindze Letherman as Kelly Gibbs
Grant Marvin as Prof. Jenning
Jason George as Richard
Linda Kim (non-speaking role) as Jay
Ken Jenkins as Agent Moore
Jonathan Frakes (uncredited cameo) as a bystander
Clockstoppers was released on VHS and DVD on August 13, 2002.
The film has garnered negative reviews. Based on reviews from 85 critics collected by the rating website Rotten Tomatoes, the film was given a score of 29%, with an average score of 4.8 out of 10, with its Critic Consensus calling it "A pleasant diversion for the young teens, but a waste of time for anyone older". Metacritic calculated an average score of 40 out of 100, based on 24 reviews. The film has since gone on to become a cult favorite. Clockstoppers opened at a disappointing Number 5 at the Box office ranking in $10,108,333 USD in its first opening weekend, the following week it went down to #7 where it spent a week more. The film had grossed a total of $38.8 million against a budget of $26 million, making it a minor box office success worldwide.