24th Jul2018

’2:Hrs’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Harry Jarvis, Ella-Rae Smith, Alhaji Fofana, Keith Allen, Siobhan Redmond, Seann Walsh, Marek Larwood | Written by Roland Moore | Directed by D. James Newton

2hrs-poster

The concept of knowing when you die is something the we, as humans, seem to focus on as wwe get older. It’s also been the subject of a number of films: from thrillers such as D.O.A., to comedies like The Bucket List… the idea of knowing when you die (and to a lesser extent “how” you die) is fascinating for filmmakers and audiences alike.

Brand-new British teen comedy 2:Hrs tells the story of budding graffiti artist and an expert slacker Tim (Harry Jarvis), who gets more than he bargained for when he convinces his two best friends, Vic and Alf, to skip a school trip. They stumble into a press conference being held by scientist Lena Eidelhorn (Siobhan Redmond) who is unveiling her latest invention, The Vitalitron – a machine that is capable of predicting the time of death of any living creature. However when Tim sneaks inside, he discovers he only has two hours left to live. Chased across London by tabloid journalists, Tooley and Graves (Seann Walsh and Marek Larwood), Tim and his mates agree on a bucket list that will cram a lifetime into the next two hours. Meanwhile Lena makes plans to ensure that The Vitalitron’s prophecy comes true no matter what…

Aimed squarely at a teen audience, 2:Hrs focuses on the grim idea of knowing when you’re going to die, yet spins the idea on its head to create a wish-fulfilment film that plays out like a very British take on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that wouldn’t look out of place showing on CBBC one weekday afternoon. And that’s not a criticism…

Instead it’s praise for a film that not only fulfills the quota of being family-friendly – with both some great slapstick and broad humour from Walsh and Larwood and gloriously hammy acting from Siobhan Redmond (who plays a mad scientist to perfection) that will get any kid laughing – but also never talks down to its target audience. It’s also remarkably poignant, with its message being clearly and succinctly delivered by the performance of charming leading man Harry Jarvis.

As someone who grew up in the 80s, the closest thing I can relate 2:Hrs to is Dramarama, the well-regarded kids show that did very much the same – told a story that was relatable to its audience, had a moral core and was still family-friendly. And given that Dramarama spun off the likes of Children’s Ward, one of the most well-respected, and longest-running, kids dramas of all time, I think that’s the highest praise I could ever give 2:Hrs.

Perfect Summer viewing for the teenager in your life (or those still young at heart), 2:Hrs will be available on VOD from July 30th.

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