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Review: 24 Hours to Live

24 Hours to Live
11.28.2017
5 10

PLOT: An assassin seeks revenge after he is given a second chance at life.

REVIEW: JOHN WICK has presented a unique opportunity for well known actors that have at least a little bit of willingness to perform their own stunts. We’ve had Keanu Reeves of course, and this past summer Charlize Theron was an ATOMIC BLONDE. Why not try someone like Ethan Hawke? The actor is not a complete stranger to action flicks, so it makes sense to give him a chance to kick a little ass. In 24 HOURS TO LIVE, he is given that opportunity. Not unlike Wick, this new thriller brings on a stunt expert to direct - this time it’s Brian Smrz, a man with a very impressive resume as a stunt coordinator and more. Is Hawke’s ‘Travis Conrad’ a brand new hero that we can look forward to seeing continued adventures of? I wouldn’t count on it.

ethan hawke rutgher hauer 24 hours to live qing xu brian smrz paul anderson action 2017

Travis Conrad (Hawke) lost everything he had when his family was killed. It seems this former CIA agent didn’t want to continue that life, and yes, the higher ups won’t let him quit. After the tragedy, he is convinced to take on “one last job" by his ex-partner and freind Jim Morrow (Paul Anderson).  He then finds himself at the mercy of a mysterious Interpol agent named Lin (Qing Xu) who is protecting a whistle blower - one he was assigned to go after. The confrontation leaves him on deaths door - well, actually it leaves him dead.  However, Conrad is given an experimental second chance; one that offers a few hurdles to cross and a few asses to kick. Travis soon discovers that he only has twenty-four hours to complete a cliched story of revenge and redemption.

24 HOURS TO LIVE isn’t necessarily a terrible film. However, it isn’t a very good one either. Let’s start with the bad. If you are looking for something fresh, you won’t find anything new here. The script, written by Jim McClain, Zach Dean and Ron Mita follows the genre troupes predictably. The family killed, a lone hero looking for revenge, and a mysterious woman whom we are not sure whether we should trust. Albeit this one also has a hint of science fiction, but even that doesn’t feel original in the slightest. The story is as generic as you can get, failing to build any real suspense as to whether or not Conrad will be able to find purpose and take out the bad guys.

Director Brian Smrz manages to give us a couple of decent moments while taking on this action thriller. The look of the film is certainly competent, yet it's also a bit slow when cars are not tearing down the street. However, when the engines are revved up, you can find a couple of solid car chases and stunt sequences. It’s difficult to say how much of the stunt work Hawke actually does, but he looks pretty natural taking it all on. And with the practical stunts, it adds a bit of a thrill or two whenever a bunch of cars smash into each other. Aside from that, the film rarely rises above its limited budget. Still, you can certainly see what Mr. Smrz brings to the table when it comes to action.

ethan hawke rutger hauer paul anderson qing xu brian smrz 24 hours to live action 2017

The very talented Ethan Hawke gives a good performance in the leading role. The actor handles the stunt work seemingly well, and he also makes you slightly care about what happens to him. It was also entertaining watching him play off the legendary Rutger Hauer, who takes a small role as Travis’ father-in-law. English actor, Paul Anderson, also offers solid support as a former partner of Conrad. The cast is better than you’d expect, but they can’t save the occasional monotony that lingers throughout this ninety minute feature.

If there had been a little more originality in the script, and perhaps a bit more of a stylish look, 24 HOURS TO LIVE may have been quite good. Yet it simply settles for occasionally entertaining. The practical stunts are well appreciated and Ethan Hawke manages to give us a charismatic hero. However, with its flimsy plot and occasionally uninspired sequences -aside from the stunt work - all you have is a generic action movie that rarely rises above the uninspired story. Although, for some fans it might be worth checking out simply for Hawke and a couple of cool action set pieces.

 

Source: JoBlo.com

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