24 Hours to Live (2017)
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Critic Reviews for 24 Hours to Live
This is mostly entertaining ridiculousness, threaded together by the reliable Hawke ...
Plotted like a Crank sequel and has dialogue that sounds like it was written by a teenage boy.
There's some reasonably ambitious choreography to a lot of the physicality and camerawork, and until it devolves into testosterone-drenched, operatic silliness, the mix of bullets, blood and banter is dumb fun.
So long as you turn your thinking cap off, this high-energy enterprise will provide plenty of less-than-highbrow fun.
Hawke delivers a workmanlike performance, but can't redeem the third act's macho baloney ...
Audience Reviews for 24 Hours to Live
Before I get started with this review, I think we need to talk about Ethan Hawke for a bit. I don't think I've given this guy enough love throughout the years. To say that the man, in my opinion, is an independent film legend would be an understatement. What I mean by that is that while Hawke has certainly been in some big-budgeted affairs, it seems that his love really lies in the independent filmmaking scene, because he's lent his name and credibility to a lot of these movies throughout the years. His work in the Richard Linklater's Before trilogy has been lauded, along with Julie Delpy's work, of course. The thing is that independent films allow for more exploration of worthwhile themes as opposed to their mainstream counterparts. That's not saying one is superior to the other, but that's just the way it is. The thing about Hawke is that, to me, he seems like one of those people that just does it for the love of the game. Of course, the guy still expects to be paid, but I'd be willing that if he's, truly, in love with a script, he'd scale back his charge rate a little bit. Another thing is that Mr. Hawke doesn't just limit himself to one type of movie, he's done horror, romance, westerns, sci-fis, Shakespeare adaptations, action, comedies, dramas, thrillers, etc, etc, etc. If you can think of it, chances are Ethan Hawke has probably been in one of those types of movies. I think that versatility that he brings to the table is key in why he is still in high demand to this day. Perhaps he's not in as high-demand as, say, Chris Pratt, but Hawke's an actor who's never found himself in shortage of work. Look at his filmography on Wikipedia for proof. Anyway, with that out of the way, let's get going on this movie, shall we? Look, I've raved about Ethan's dedication to his act and feeling fulfilled in the work that he does, but that's obviously not to say that every movie he's in is a winner. You can always count on Ethan to deliver the goods and that doesn't change here, but just because the actor delivers the goods doesn't mean that the rest of the movie will. Honestly, however, the movie is perfectly decent. There's nothing really wrong with it, technically speaking. But I just feel that it's a bit generic as an action movie and, to me, one that wastes a relatively decent concept. Perhaps wastes is a little harsh, because there are some parts of the movie that I really did like. In many way, you could say that the movie is generic in that the plot and the structure is not exactly the most inventive. You can make that argument and I wouldn't disagree with you. A professional hitman with, umm, 24 hours to live, as a result of these series of experiments being done by his employers in order to bring back people from the dead, hunts down those responsible for his wife and son's death and attempts to find redemption by helping a single mother and her son out of a tough situation. Sounds really generic, but I think Hawke's performance definitely makes it so that, at the very least, you're into Conrad's character and want to see him reach the redemption he so desperately needs before his death. Conrad is clearly deeply affected by the murder of his wife and son and, in my opinion, Hawke's performance is that of a man with the weight on the world on his shoulder. He's clearly beating himself up for the fact that he was not there more when they were alive, doing jobs for Red Mountain, a military contractor. Conrad, at the start of the movie, is brought out of vacation by a job that promise to pay $2 million a day. He's asked to kill a former mercenary for Red Mountain who threatens to expose their crimes. Red Mountain, being a multi-billion dollar corporation with more than half the U.S senate in their pocket, clearly doesn't want their little empire to collapse. Red Mountain is like a less evil NRA, let's just call it like that. Anyway, Conrad meets this agent that was transporting this man to turn state's witness (or UN witness, as it were). He seduces and sleeps with her in order to find this man's location. Conrad slips up and this woman, Lin, kills him. Perhaps an issue with the movie is the fact that Conrad was so willing and able to kill this man for Red Mountain and, after he's brought back from the dead, he so easily turns against them. Not that he shouldn't have turned, these Red Mountain fucks are evil as shit, but the transition didn't really feel all that natural. It's not like he even hears what the man who's testifying has to say until much later. So, I don't know, that was a bit off. There's also a certain disconnect in Lin's audio. That's a weird thing to complain about it. The character is played by Xu Qing who is, of course Chinese. But there are certain scenes where it just looks like her voice has been dubbed over by someone who doesn't have such a heavy Chinese accent. There's just a vibe I get. And there are some scenes where it just didn't look like it was her delivering them. I didn't rewind cause, honestly, I just didn't care that much. But it was still a bit of a disconnect. Because there are scenes where, obviously, it's her voice with her accent and then, in other scenes, for certain moments, she just doesn't have it and it doesn't really even sound like her voice to begin with. I don't know, but, whatever it was, it just didn't work. As far as the action is concerned, there's nothing to really write home about. I guess they try to be slightly more violent than your average action movie, but that, to me, seems like it's compensating for its lack of real personality. It is decent enough and it's serviceable, but there's nothing here that I haven't seen done better elsewhere like, say, The Raid. And, to be fair, that's a high standard that not every movie can achieve but, what can I say, I've been spoiled. The narrative is predictable in that you know exactly who caused the death of Conrad's wife and son. There's no real mystery and, honestly, that makes everything a bit of a chore to sit through. It would have been better, in my opinion, had he found out who was responsible earlier and the movie is him struggling with the rage to get vengeance for what was done to him versus his search for redemption through helping Lin and her son. That would have been a good juxtaposition for Conrad's character, the internal struggle he feels with what he wants to do versus his journey to forgive himself for his absence in his wife and son's lives. That would have been pretty cool, in my opinion. But, once again, I need to review what I see and not what I want, but I'm just offering an alternate route to get to the same conclusion. And, of course, I am not letting that affect my review in the slightest. It's just something to think about. I did like the ending of the movie and how it played into something that happened earlier and, honestly, it leaves you off at a point where Conrad didn't want to be. He was all ready to fully let go and embrace being with his wife and son again in death, but that was taken away from him. Sort of like a less smart Inception ending. In that ending it doesn't really matter if Cobb is in a dream or not, what matters is the fact that he finally got what he wanted, which was to see his kids again. Same thing here, it didn't matter that Conrad died, what mattered is that he finally was with his wife and son again and, ultimately, that's everything that he wanted. And to have that taken away from him, just before the credits roll, is actually really pretty clever all things considered. And, now that I look back at it, it was my favorite part of the movie. It's just well-done. Having said all of that, though, there's nothing really wrong with this movie. I mean, it's definitely not terrible movie. Not even fucking close. It's just a decidedly average one. Average action and average storytelling. Though, again, Ethan Hawke delivers the goods in his performance. There's nothing you really need to see here, but you won't feel like you've wasted your time with this if you do decide to watch it. It just falls squarely in the middle of the pack.
When you think of action movie stars, Ethan Hawke, isn't the first name to come to mind. That's because his best known works aren't action films, but he has done a lot of independent action stuff and each one is better than the last. In his latest, 24 Hours To Live, Hawke plays Travis Conrad, the worlds best, yet retired, hit-man. When a government conspiracy is threatened to be revealed, a large sum of money brings Conrad out of retirement, but something goes wrong and he is killed, only to be awaken 8 hours later with the marvels of modern science. He is told he has only 24 hours to live, hence the title, but in those 24 hours he must decide weather or not to complete his mission or avenge a mistake. This film has a lot of similarities to Jason Statham's Crank, except that it doesn't move as quickly and actually has a plot. Unlike Crank, this film isn't just about killing and explosions, it brings a mans morality into question at the end of his life. Ethan Hawke is fantastic and if given the opportunity would be sensational in any big budget action film. Supported by newcomers and some very poor cameos by Rutger Hauer, it's Hawke's character that makes this film spectacular, that is until the end. If you like independent films as much as I do, you come to learn that without the big budget, sometimes they have to push the envelope a little bit and do things filmmakers don't typically do. Sometimes it works out well, other times it's a complete failure, and the ending to this movie almost destroys it. The film has a terrific final scene and looks like it's on it's way to be one of the best action films I've seen all year, until a 3 minute scene at the end of the film almost takes down the whole thing. It was certainly a curve ball, but one that was absolutely unnecessary. That being said, this film was still everything one could hope for from an action movie, fast paced, loud, and violent with an actual story that makes sense to go along with it.
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