Kill and Die–Order Not Important

24 Hours to Live  (Theaters-2017; Streaming-2017)  Rated: R  Runtime: 92-93 minutesM 24 2017

Genre: Action-Mystery-Thriller

els – 5.5/10

IMDb – 5.8/10

Amazon – 3.6/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes Critics – 4.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes Audience – 3.0/5

Metacritic Metascore – 38/100

Metacritic User Score – 5.8/10

Directed by:  Brian Smrz

Written by:  Zach Dean, Jim McClain, Ron Mita

Music by:  Tyler Bates

Cast:  Ethan Hawke, Rutger Hauer, Paul Anderson, Qing Xu

Film Locations:  South Africa, Hong Kong, USA

Budget:  NA

Travis Conrad (Hawke) is an assassin, on sabbatical or as he states, a ‘hiatus’ from Red Mountain, a mercenary and security firm; a fictional representation of the real world Blackwater. He is re-activated by the company for an urgent time-sensitive task. His new mission is to eliminate a former Red Mountain employee who is going to testify against his employer; stating under oath that Red Mountain conducted Mengele-like medical experiments on scores of South African subjects.

The experiments were attempts to bring the dead back to life, and they succeeded, although success was bought with a costly, and gruesome, high body count.  Conrad, while tracking the rogue employee is killed, but is re-animated by the same back-from-the-dead procedures that Red Mountain has pioneered.  The catch is that there are some rather unpleasant side effects and the process is only good for 24 hours at which point he dies again.

This is a fun movie with lots of shooting, bullets, and bloody deaths. No hidden messages except the usual boiler plate of corporate boogeymen and anything for a buck, but that’s really not hidden; it’s full on in your face. This is Brian Smrz’s sophomore attempt at direction and he keeps it coarse with no frills, no long drawn out drama scenes to distract from what this movie is: an action movie.  The story holds together, it’s sparse and the actors give all that it takes to keep this movie going without any cringe worthy line delivers. The only negative is that Rutger Hauer was under utilized.  He could have brought more color to the film’s main sequences but the writers left him in a side story role, which was too bad.

Zombies, or Not

PredestinationPredestination.jpg (2015)

els – 8.0/10

IMDb – 7.5/10

Amazon – 4/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes Critics – 6.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Audience – 3.7/5

Directed by: Michael and Peter Spierig

Written by: Michael and Peter Spierig (based on the short story by Robert A. Heinlein – All You Zombies)

Produced by: Michael and Peter Spierig et.al.

Music by: Michael and Peter Spierig

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor

For the child of God, time is linear and unidirectional; we are born, we live, we die; the beginning, the middle and the end are all planned out except you can choose what to do with God’s offered grace.  Predestination, the doctrine, the outcome is a certainty; Predestination, the movie, the outcome is in doubt.  For predestination versus free will, the doctrine, is not a contradiction because, for God, time is immaterial, all moments are present in their immediacy. For predestination versus free will, in the movie, is not a contradiction because time is circular and the protagonist can Keep On Keeping On until he selects good over evil, death over life (Live Die Repeat and Groundhog Day).

Predestination is a faithful rendition of Heinlein’s All You Zombies with enough temporal displacement to develop a very twisted noodle. The movie provides enough clues that you should figure out the plot well before the end credits roll; but knowing the plot ending neither diminishes the fun nor unscrambles your brain.  Ethan Hawke, temporal agent and bartender, must find and eliminate the Fizzle Bomber before he explodes one last devastating bomb that will take thousands of lives. The directing, writing and acting are all superb, putting it on my to watch again list.

%d bloggers like this: