July 30, 2019 2:Hrs (Movie Review)
Three best friends, two hours on the clock, and one (chicken) bucket list. What could possibly go wrong? In the new family-friendly Adventure flick 2:Hrs, a trio of teens race through London to beat the clock. 4Digital Media delivers the film to VOD and Digital HD on Tuesday, August 6th, 2019.
It has not been an easy go of things since their father passed away, and graffiti artist Tim (Harry Jarvis: High Strung Free Dance 2018, The Knight Before Christmas 2019)—who has a very strange pet named Monty—and his poetic little sis Shona (Fabienne Piolini-Castle: Creep short 2015, The Durrells in Corfu series) are giving their mum (Kirsty Dillon: Midsomer Murders series, Locke 2013) hell as they endlessly antagonize one another.
This chaos bubbles over into school life when Tim’s class goes on a field trip to the Natural History Museum, and he and his best friends, Vic (Ella-Rae Smith: Into the Badlands series, The Stranger series) and Alf (Alhaji Fofana: Slaughterhouse Rulez 2018, Silent Witness series), ditch the group and end up underground. When they accidentally stumble into the laboratory of a kooky scientist (Siobhan Redmond: Between the Lines series, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein 1994), they learn that one of them has but 120 minutes left to live.
Frantic to make the most of their friend’s time, the three construct a bucket list on a bucket of fried chicken, and set out to accomplish four goals before their time is up. Unfortunately, they are being tailed across the city by a dunderheaded duo of journalists—Tooley (Seann Walsh: The Seann Factor short 2014, Bad Move series) and Graves (Marek Larwood: Magicians 2007, Murder in Successville)—who are intent upon rangling them back to the lab and collecting a hefty finder’s fee from its owner, Groad (Keith Allen: The Others 2001, 24 Hour Party People 2002).
As the threesome buckle down on their (hashtag) goals, the desire for a kiss from the popular girl and a fear of heights will combine with one pink moped, a poetry slam competition, an art gallery, and one chainsaw-wielding, badass momma to compose two of the most eventful hours in a group of British teens lives. Revelations will be made, fears will be overcome, and lessons shall be learned.
Clocking in at 82 minutes, 2:Hrs is a feature-length debut for talented director D. James Newton (The Americano short 2008, The Moment short 2013) and was written by Roland Moore (Land Girls series, Doctors series). It also features the acting talents of Lelia Yvetta (Reckless Juliets series, The Dare 2019), Anna Baird (The Wives Did It mini-series 2015), Zara Day (Third Contact 2013, Doomsday 2015), Andromeda Godfrey (Bundy and the Green River Killer 2019, Oh, Ramona! 2019); Tomi May (Line of Duty series, Justice League 2017), Melody Jackson in her acting debut, and more.
Billed as a Family Adventure, is 2:Hrs actually family-friendly? Well, of course it is! Geared more towards tweens and younger teens, it is an adventure for the whole family that, like many of the best films in the genre, has moments of comedy just for the parents. Truth be told, parents are likely to see the minor plot twists coming, and figure out the ending nearly as soon as the film begins, but none of this puts a damper on the fun of taking the ride.
As the boy who needs more ‘can do’ in his life and the film’s central figure, Jarvis’ Tim is a teen suffering emotionally from the loss of his father. A talented artist who is clearly not the world’s best student, Tim represents many adolescents who are struggling to get through their day-to-day school and home lives. It’s no mystery why his is the central character, as he is the boy who has the most lessons to learn. Jarvis gives a great performance in the role, making his character believable and relatable. Similarly, as pragmatist Alf, Fofana is wonderful in his supporting role, though it is Smith’s Vic (or Victoria) who is the glue that binds the two boys together and keeps them moving forward. Needless to say, Smith gives a stellar performance in the sweet yet sassy role.
While the younger members of the cast are its stars, and rightfully so, much of the true comedy throughout 2:Hrs is delivered via the dynamic duo of Tooley (Walsh) and Graves (Larwood). Playing off one another perfectly, the pair of bumbling reporters are, at times, a bit reminiscent of Scooby Doo and Inspector Gadget in their cartoonish folly. This plays into the antic’s of kooky scientist Eidelhorn, which paves the way for Redmond to give an amusing performance and keep the laughs rolling.
With a wonderful cast, some truly amusing antics, and a young, upbeat soundtrack that features songs from Last Seen Alive, Eva Katharina, and Los Albertos, 2:Hrs provides a quality entertainment experience that asks important questions and, as with any good family viewing, has lessons to be learned. Perhaps its biggest question—and no, that is not what time lunch is served!—centers around our modern, technologically-advanced times, and the debate of humanity vs. science. Just because we scientifically can do something, should we? Furthermore, despite your family’s situation, whether you are close-knit or estranged, would you want to know the exact hour when a loved one will perish?
Thoughtful, heartwarming, and a good giggle for the younger ones, 2:Hrs certainly qualifies for a good time! For these reasons, Cryptic Rock give the film 4 of 5 stars.