School friends Tim (Harry Jarvis), Vic (Ella-Rae Smith) and Alf (Alhaji Fofana) decide to play hooky while on a school trip at the Natural History Museum. Wandering off down a seemingly disused tunnel, the trio stumble upon scientist Lena Eidelhorn (Siobhan Redmond) who is demonstrating a new device that can predict the exact day and time of any living creature’s death. Tim disrupts the demonstration and jumps inside the machine, which tells him he has 2 hours left to live. With the clock ticking, Tim enlists his friends to help him complete a bucket list before his life ends.
2:Hrs is written by Roland Moore (Doctors) and is the feature film directorial debut of D. James Newton. The quirky family film is essentially a lesson about living life to the fullest and not wasting a single second as you never know when your time is going to be up. Of course for Tim, he knows exactly when he’s going to die, and he tries to pack as much into his last two hours as possible. From kissing his crush through to making amends to his family, who he’s treated pretty poorly, Tim drags his friends around town as he ticks things off his list.
Moore’s story is strong and it’s brought to life by a talented young cast. Harry Jarvis is believable as rebellious Tim and he’s particularly good in the scenes with his mother Ellie (Kirsty Dillon) and sister Shona (Fabienne Piolini-Castle). He’s matched by the strong performances of Ella-Rae Smith and Alhaji Fofana as his friends Vic and Alf. The trio have an easy chemistry and you feel like they’re genuinely good friends. They also all showcase impeccable comic timing bringing levity during some of the film’s darker moments.
Siobhan Redmond has a lot of fun as madcap scientist Lena Eidelhorn, throwing herself into the role with relish. The same sadly can’t be said about Keith Allen, who plays Eidelhorn’s backer Groad. The character tries to pass himself off as American (which is part of the joke) but unfortunately Allen’s performance just isn’t very good. He’s wildly miscast here and I couldn’t help but cringe every time he popped up.
2:Hrs is part fun romp and part cautionary tale. It’s an engaging tale about coming-of-age with a wacky science twist that works well. The writing is strong, especially for the character of Tim, and by the time the credits roll, you do feel like you’ve been on a little bit of a journey. 2:Hrs is inventive, funny and very entertaining and it deserves a much wider release than it’s getting. It’s definitely a film you should add to your summer watch list and it’s suitable for the whole family!
Cast: Harry Jarvis, Ella-Rae Smith, Alhaji Fofana, Keith Allen, Siobhan Redmond, Seann Walsh Director: D. James Newton Writer: Roland Moore Certificate: PG Duration: 85 mins Released by: Makelight Productions Release date: 30th July 2018