Would you want to know how long you had left to live? What would you do with the time when you found out? What if you found out it was just two-hours?
Tim, Harry Jarvis (Dixi, High Strung: Free Dance), is a slacker school-kid who, since his father passed away, has been acting up; disrespecting his mum, getting arrested, teasing his little sister etc.
Whilst on a school trip to a museum in London, Tim and his friends Vic, Ella-Rae Smith (The Commuter, Clique (TV)), and Alf, Alhaji Fofana (The IT Crowd (TV), Screwball (Short)) break away from the group and stumble upon a press-launch in an eerie basement.
This launch is of a new machine, invented by Lena, Siobhan Redmond (Between The Lines (TV), The Smoking Room (TV)), that will accurately predict when a living organism is going to die.
Once the demonstration ends, Tim decides to step into the machine and is told he has just 2: Hrs left to live. He thinks it’s a mistake, but the concern of others changes his mind and he, and his friends, embark on a mission to fulfil a hastily constructed bucket-list.
Meanwhile the backer of the machine, Groad, Keith Allen (Shallow Grave, The Others), sets two inept journalists in Tooley, stand-up comedian Seann Walsh, and Graves, Marek Larwood (Magicians, We Are Klang (TV)), to find Tim and bring him back so he can be sure the machine is working and, therefore, saleable.
2: Hrs is written by Roland Moore who is better known as one of the writers on the animated Peter Rabbit TV series as well as the daytime TV soap Doctors.
There is no doubt that this film is aimed squarely at a younger generation and it often has the feel of a children’s TV program, the likes of Grange Hill and the ilk, and director D. James Newton (The Moment (Short), The Americano (Short)) utilises some old-school shooting techniques that reminded me of old black & white films of days of yore.
As an adult, and therefore I recognise completely not the target audience, the plot is very predictable and a tad saccharine at times. There’s also a random moment when Tim suddenly becomes an expert Parkour runner for no reason what-so-ever…
Jarvis is a good-looking kid, with his floppy hair and laid-back attitude, but as far as acting goes it’s Smith who stands head and shoulders above most of the cast, which includes some of the adults.
She is an outstanding young actress and, together with the comedy duo of Walsh and Larwood, they drag the film onto a higher level then it perhaps otherwise would have been on.
I’ve always enjoyed Marek Larwood, he has such a child-like innocence and a great comic timing. Pairing him with Seann Walsh, himself a very good stand-up comic, works wonderfully.
Sure, it’s a very slapstick sort of humour and, as mentioned, a little predictable, but I can imagine for the target audience it’s perfect and the two of them will drag some laughs out of all but the most resistant adults.
Allen’s character doesn’t get much of a back-story, we don’t know quite why he’s doing what he’s doing for instance, but he plays it well, though spends much of his time appearing on a TV screen.
2: Hrs is a harmless, nice little family film that, with a relatively short run-time of just one hour 25 minutes, zips by. It won’t be the funniest thing you’ve seen, but your younger kids will love it.
Also published on Medium.