“They wouldn’t even let me die in peace.”
Last year, Ethan Hawke appeared in The Magnificent Seven alongside two of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, and managed to be the most interesting character in the film. In the 2017 summer dud, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Hawke shares the screen with Rihanna’s shape-shifting alien character, Bubble, and is still far and away the most unusual person in the movie. The man has a way of just standing out, so I’m excited to see him take the lead role in the upcoming gonzo action flick, 24 Hours to Live.
24 Hours to Live looks like a blend of Jason Statham’s Crank movies and the John Wick series. The film’s IMDb synopsis is super basic, “An assassin seeks redemption after being given a second chance at life.” And to be honest, I’m already half-way sold. Anytime I see the words “assassin” and “redemption” in the same sentence I lean forward in my seat. There is, however, one major reason that logline undersells the movie: Hawke’s character has an electronic timer surgically implanted in his arm, which counts down how much time he has left to live like he’s a rapidly draining iPhone.
24 Hours to Live is directed by Brian Smrz, a veteran stunt coordinator who worked on Live Free or Die Hard, Minority Report, and Blade. This will be Smrz’s second feature film as a director. His previous film is the 2008 action-crime drama, Hero Wanted. Filling out the cast are Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Liam Cunningham, (Game of Thrones), Qing Xu (Looper), and Paul Anderson (Peaky Blinders).
The first half of 24 Hours to Live’s trailer looks like a live action video game — even if you don’t include the glowing digital clock ticking away inside of Hawke’s left arm. The action is fast and frenetic with plenty of shots from a first-person perspective. The trailer makes sure to hit all the right action flick beats, including vicious hand to hand fights, vehicular mayhem, and gunplay. We’re talking the firearm triple crown; pistols, sniper rifles, and rocket launchers. Although I’m not expecting 24 Hours to Live to bring home a screen-writing award I hope that most of the dialogue is less corny than the one-liners Hawke fires off during the trailer.
If 24 Hours to Live delivers a bit of “John Wick-lite” I’ll be more than happy. Finding the perfect balance of nonsense in a big, silly, action flick is an art unto itself and this film looks like it checks all the right boxes. 24 Hours to Live’s December 1st release date isn’t far off and I’m already considering placing it on a big, silly, action flick double-feature with another title that fits the bill, Beyond Skyline.
Here is a brief 24 Hours to Live synopsis:
24 Hours to Live is a fast-paced action-packed movie about a career assassin (Hawke) who is given a chance at redemption after his employer brings him back to life temporarily after being killed on the job. 24 Hours to Live is directed by filmmaker Brian Smrz, a veteran stuntman and second unit director, who also directed the film Hero Wanted previously. The screenplay is written by Zach Dean. This film will have its world premiere at the Austin Film Festival later this month. Saban Films will then release Smrz’s 24 Hours to Live in select theaters + on VOD starting December 1st later this fall.