The concept of knowing when you’re going to die is a fascinating one, and sparks many philosophical debates. Would you like to know so you can do everything you’ve wanted, or would you rather live in blissful ignorance and take life as it comes? Unfortunately for our protagonist, Tim, he doesn’t really get the opportunity to debate this after encountering a machine that correctly predicts the lifespan of every living thing. The title 2:HRS relates to the time predicted by the machine, which encourages Tim to use his time left wisely.
Whilst it’s a harrowing revelation, the events that follow are predominantly slapstick and family-friendly, with the occasional heartwarming moment thrown in. Tim isn’t alone on his quest to check off his bucket list, being accompanied by two of his school friends who he convinced to ditch a school trip with him. This decision is how they stumbled across the machine in the first palace, so the trio certainly got more than they bargained for that day. Like any adventure, an antagonist is close behind, and in this case its the machine’s inventor who wants to see the prediction come true no matter what.
Despite being an intriguing concept for all ages, 2:HRS falls flat in a lot of places. The script is more cringe-worthy than funny, and whilst I appreciate the target audience is younger than me, I still believe it would’ve benefited from better screenwriting. That being said, the actors worked well with what they were given and gave great performances throughout. I probably laughed about three times throughout the film, so at least I can give them that. The young actors were especially good, and I’m looking forward to seeing their future work as I know they could go far.
Another thing that bothered me was the ending. It ended so abruptly and nothing was really tied up, which was a huge disappointment for me. I didn’t like their decision to leave it so open-ended as it didn’t make sense nor make an impact. It was probably designed to coax one last laugh from audiences, but didn’t work for me sadly. 2:HRS does have some redeeming scenes that I enjoyed a lot, including a moment near the end of the film with Tim and his sister. If the rest of the film had been of that quality, I would have rated it higher.
Overall, 2:HRS feels like an average, forgettable film but an entertaining watch when you’re relaxing on the sofa looking for something light-hearted to stick on. It’s worth a watch, but it’s not a film I’ll be rewatching any time soon.
2:HRS is available on VOD from today, and you can watch the trailer here: