30th July 2018 (UK VOD Premiere)
Slacker Schoolboy Tim is an expert in wasting time. So what happens when he discovers he has two hours left to live?
D. James Newton
Harry Jarvis, Ella-Rae Smith, Alhaji Fofana
While on a school trip to a museum, mischievous time-waster Tim along with his friends Alf and Vic break away from their group and stumble upon a secret demonstration by eccentric scientist Lena Eidelhorn (Siobhan Redmond) of a prototype machine which predicts when someone will die to the exact moment. Being the rascal he is, Tim steps foot inside the contraption only to discover that he has two hours left to live.
Knowing his life is now on a time limit, Tim and his friends set out to complete his bucket list before he kicks it. But having seen more than they should have, the trio are chased around London by two tabloid journalists, Tooley (Seann Walsh) and Graves (Marek Larwood), tasked with bringing the friends back before it’s too late.
2:Hrs is a more lighthearted picture than the synopsis would have you believe; it’s a firm all-round crowdpleaser, actively avoiding the morbid angle of the possibility of an untimely death of a schoolboy. Instead, writer Roland Moore puts redemption at the forefront, turning Tim from a selfish, carefree slacker into a young man who, faced with the prospect of 120 minutes to live, finally sees what’s important to him and his loved ones.
The hapless journalistic duo of excellent stand up comedian Seann Walsh and Marek Larwood reinforce the family friendly nature of the film, with their old-fashioned slapstick comedy a pleasant throwback to 90’s double acts such as The Chuckle Brothers, Dick and Dom and, to an extent, The Wet Bandits from Home Alone. Their comedy mainly consists of Walsh getting frustrated with Larwood’s buffoonery, which, for the most part, manages to raise a smile. The repetition of this facade does get a little tedious at times though, but the energetic performances from the pair make it easily forgivable.
As for the main cast, it’s a promising showcase of upcoming young talent, especially Harry Jarvis who impresses as Tim by refraining from being a complete caricature of a loudmouthed British young rapscallion. By doing so, when his character goes through the inevitable personality changes it’s much more believable. The youngsters are ably aided by more established names such as Siobhan Redmond, known for her role in the BBC drama series Between The Lines as well as Keith Allen (24 Hour Party People, Shallow Grave).
2:Hrs is certainly an oddity. The large majority of the film gives the impression of taking place in a reality very similar to the one we live in, but there’s the occasional touch which skews this idea. The machine itself is the biggest, with people attending the demonstration not reacting to its unveiling like it’s a huge leap forward but more like the next logical step in technological advancements. Then there’s Tim’s unusual pet which he keeps in a matchbox. It’s never fully revealed as to what it is, with us only getting glimpses of its snail-like form, but again such a creature appears to be the norm in this world.
Overall, 2:Hrs feels like a cross between a Roald Dahl short story and an online exclusive Doctor Who spin-off episode; it’s not quite up to the high standard required to be promoted as a fully endorsed addition to either, but more than worthy of bearing their names. Its budget restraints are clear (the locations aren’t very exciting – community halls, schools, a lot of residential areas) but thanks to some lively performances and an unwavering positive message, 2:Hrs is worth your 85:minutes.
2:Hrs will be available on VOD services from 30th July 2018.
Quirky and inventive British Sci-Fi
Talented young cast hold their own against established names
Upbeat tone for a potentially morbid story
Comedy duo get a little tedious