24 Hours to Live (2017)

  • Time: 95 min
  • Genre: Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
  • Director: Brian Smrz
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Liam Cunningham, Rutger Hauer, Tanya van Graan, Paul Anderson


Making a rare foray into rock ’em, sock ’em action territory, Hawke plays a CIA agent who sacrifices everything for his employers, including his family and, ultimately, his own life. No sooner has he shuffled off this mortal coil, though, than he finds himself mysteriously resurrected for one last mission that’s timed to last exactly 24 hours. Once the countdown clock embedded in his arm reaches zero, he’ll once again nod off into an eternal slumber if he hasn’t completed his task. Before that happens, expect him to wreak bloody havoc on both his targets and his former CIA minders.

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  • 24 Hours to Live , the second feature from veteran stuntman Brian Smrz, lacks the flair and dynamism or John Wick , helmed by longtime stunt coordinators Chad Stahelski and uncredited David Leitch (who recently directed Atomic Blonde and is currently shooting Deadpool 2 ), though it certainly does its best to measure that movie’s body count.

    Like Keanu Reeves’ Wick, Ethan Hawke’s Travis Conrad has been reluctantly brought out of hiatus for a job. Thankfully no adorable puppies had to be harmed in order to motivate him, though a child in danger will keep the grieving widower and daddy compiled enough to dispose of enough third world country. Travis, a former elite soldier turned mercenary, obviously has killing skills and his organization, the shadowy Red Mountain run by CEO Wetzler (Liam Cunningham), sends his old Army buddy Jim (Paul Anderson) to task Travis with assassinating Iraq veteran Keith (Tyrone Keogh), who is set to testify about Red Mountain’s slaughter of civilians before the United Nations. Keith is being hidden away by Hong Kong-based Interpol agent Lin Bisset (Xu Qing).

    Travis seduces Lin in order to glean the location of Keith’s safe house but before he can go back to Wetzler and Jim with the info, he’s shot dead by Lin. Well, not quite. As its title indicates, Travis has been resurrected through an experimental procedure developed by Red Mountain and given less than 24 hours to live. Travis is naturally not happy that Wetzler deems him expensible after he tells them the safe house’s location, so he breaks up and teams up with Lin in order to guarantee Keith’s safety. Oh, and so can he help Lin get her son back since Wetzler decided to kidnap him. In the meantime, the LED clock on his wrist is ticking down and he’s beginning to experience hallucinations of his dead wife and son.

    Barely anything makes a lick of sense and the dialogue, by Travis’ magnificently WTF “I want to be like me,” is an earsore. Action sequences are well-staged if unremarkable, and most of the actors, Hawke included, are workmanlike. Rutger Hauer, as Travis’ dad, is severely underutilized but at least gets an enjoyable badass moment.

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