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A time-twisting thriller crushed under the weight of its own ambition seizes a chance for streaming redemption

Great idea, shame about the execution.

24 hours to live
via Saban

Not to paraphrase a well-known meme, but inside of Ethan Hawke are two wolves; one is the multi-time Academy Award nominee who lends his name to prestige dramas and hard-hitting critical darlings, while the other is the star of countless B-tier genre flicks like 24 Hours to Live.

Of course, the man’s got to get paid somehow, but it’s jarring to see Hawke move from being a very serious man doing very serious things to running around in bonkers sci-fi thrillers that end up being panned by critics while never seeing the inside of a theater. That being said, director Brian Smrz’s high concept caper does have some good ideas, but it’s let down by mundane execution.

24 hours to live

Hawke headlines a mercenary who ends up being murdered during a bungled assassination, but death is merely the beginning. Being turned into the subject of an experimental procedure against his will, he suddenly discovers that he’s been reanimated with the titular amount of time ticking on the clock for him to make amends both personally and professionally.

Based on respective Rotten Tomatoes scores of 52 and 29 percent from critics and crowds, 24 Hours to Live doesn’t come across as appointment viewing or must-see cinematic excellence, which makes it all the more bizarre that FlixPatrol has named it as one of the top-viewed features on the Prime Video global rankings.

Then again, it goes without saying that low level runners and gunners are always in the race for fresh eyeballs, with Hawke’s star power no doubt winning over at least some of the skeptics.

About the author

Scott Campbell

News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.