24 Hours To Live was made by a former stuntman and stars Ethan Hawke as an assassin who is killed, but brought back to life for 24 hours to finish the job. There are betrayals, twists, and turns throughout, but being this kind of movie made by a stuntman, the story and character development goes out the window and it becomes mostly about the fun action sequences. The video and audio presentations are both good, but there are zero supplements here. If you're a big Ethan Hawke fan and want an over-the-top assassin film to watch, give this one A RENT.
24 Hours To Live is one of those films that was made by a guy who spent the better part of the 1980s and 1990s doing stunt-work on a lot of films. That guy is named Brian Smrz and has an impressive action movie resume. In fact, Smrz had a big on-screen cameo in 1993's Jurassic Park as the pink-shirt and aviator wearing jeep driver, who brings Jeff Goldblum to see the dinosaurs for the first time. After the dinosaurs ruled the world and a ton more stunt-work, Smrz stepped behind the camera with Ethan Hawke and made an assassin action film called 24 Hours To Live. Like most of these films, the action is staged well and is highly energetic, but the screenplay, story plots, and performances are severely lacking.
Nothing is new here either, other than it's great to see Rutger Hauer, Ethan Hawke and Davos Seaworth from Game of Thrones on screen together. The assassin story has been told many times and here, it's the same story with some plot points that never seem to propel the story forward. Even Hawke's performance can't save this film, which is unfortunate, because Hawk usually can't do any wrong. The film centers on Travis Conrad (Hawke) who retired from military work and took up with an elite assassin group dubbed The Red Mountain, who hires highly skilled killers to take out targets in order to help evil corporations. When told to do one more job for a great deal of cash, Conrad heads across the world, but is killed in the line of action.
Luckily for him, The Red Mountain has a secret program that can bring back the dead, but only for 24 hours. Now Conrad must find his target and eliminate him before his time is up, but as friends become enemies, Conrad now wants to take down the place that employs him, which has sent out their own assassins to kill him first.
Once Conrad is back from the dead, the film plays out in chase sequences very similar to the movie Crank with Jason Statham. What works with Crank though is that it's over-the-top and silly chaos, where 24 Hours To Live is more subdued and tries to be serious, which if you're watching the movie, is not the case.
There are just so many plot devices that don't make sense with some loopy flashbacks that don't pan out for anyone. On the other side though, the action beats are entertaining with some heavy gusto, which Hawke himself handles well, besides the ridiculous climactic scene. 24 Hours To Live doesn't show anything new, but manages to have a tiny bit of fun in the assassin world, despite its flaws.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
24 Hours To Live comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc. There is an insert for the digital download code too. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. Trailers play before the main menu.
24 Hours To Live comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The image looks very good for being a low budget action film. Detail is mostly sharp and vivid, but during heavier action scenes and in low-lit environments, the detail can go soft from time to time. In the highly detailed sequences though, closeups reveal practical makeup effects very well, individual hairs on the actor's faces, and facial pores. Wider shots of explosions and other guns blasting show distinct debris flying around and flames of fire that look great.
The guns themselves showcase some scuff marks and dirt, which is a nice detail that popped up as well. The colors are well-saturated throughout with good primary colors that pop, especially in exterior shots. Other interiors look cool and blue-ish for that elite spy style. Black levels are deep and inky and the skin tones are natural throughout. There are no major issues with banding or aliasing, but a small hint of video noise was seen in darker situations. Still, this is a good video presentation.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds quite good for being a thrilling action film. This is one of those films that begs for the Dolby Atmos track, but unfortunately, we don't have that here. It would be nice, because there are a ton of chase sequences, explosions, gun fire, and more that happen overhead, that the added speakers and sonic diversity would have been top notch. Still, this 5.1 mix sounds great with robust sound effects of gunshots that pack a deep low end with each blast.
Explosions rattle walls nicely and never sound overly-done, and the smaller moments with kicks and punches always sound realistic. Ambient noises of vehicles driving by and other characters talking come through the surround speakers nicely, too. The gunshots have good directionality and dynamics at all times as well. The score from Tyler Bates always adds to the intense situation and is quite memorable. The dialogue is clear and easy to follow along with all of the other action noises and is free of any pops, cracks, and hiss.
There are no extras here.
24 Hours To Live is a decent and somewhat entertaining action film made by a highly trained and popular stuntman. There isn't much in the way of a plot, character development, or a script, but the action scenes are a lot of fun. Ethan Hawke is always good, even if the script doesn't allow him for much, but Rutger Hauer isn't on screen enough, though. The video and audio presentations are both solid, but there are no extras here at all, and in this day and age, that's ridiculous. If you're in the mood for an assassin action movie with Ethan Hawke, make this one A RENTAL.