2:22 (2017) Review
Twisty thriller is an overly-produced misfire.
2:22 is a 2017 thriller about a man’s life who is derailed when an ominous pattern of events repeats itself in exactly the same manner every day, ending at precisely 2:22 p.m.
You can just about tell from the opening few moments a movie whether it’s going to hit the marks or not, and while sometimes a story takes a bit to get its stride, often you know straight away what you’re in for. So it is with 2:22, a film that outright dares you to take it seriously as it doles out rote like it were frothing from a freshly-tapped spring, ending up, no matter the effort, a painfully obvious misfire that tries way too hard.
Beginning with narration that goes out of its way to prove itself unnecessary, the film follows Dylan (Michiel Huisman), a cocky, smarmy type who raises an eyebrow whenever he turns his head. He’s an air traffic controller who ‘sees’ patterns in everything, the screen alight with shimmering streams and lines that reveal how the world is connected in his mind. He runs the tower with a cool, GQ flavor with other model-types and is known for his surgical-like precision in manipulating the ‘steel’ coming in and going out. But when he cuts it a little too close one day, he gets suspended and ends up meeting a passenger on one of the flights, an attractive ingenue named Sarah (Teresa Palmer) who of course, is part of his destiny.
Directed by Paul Currie, 2:22 is like a dime store romance novel come to life on screen, with beautiful people doing interesting things, and while that describes almost one hundred percent of most in the genre, this one does it with an almost aggressive buttery slather. As Dylan becomes haunted by visions that blur the line between reality and fantasy, he begins to notice impactful events that keep occurring at the same time, seeming linked to a murder at Grand Central Terminal thirty years ago, on his birthday. But what does it all mean? The answer is, well, out there.
Like any film that confuses coincidence with fate, the story puts as much as it can into a string of similar incidents and hopes to give it a kind of doomsday feel as Dylan gets locked in a sort of dark Groundhog Day meets Knowing vibe. Meanwhile, Sarah becomes more involved and even part of the pattern. Admittedly, despite the presentation of it all, there is a natural curiosity about it that does at least have closure, though not quite as satisfying as it might.
While Currie has some bold ideas and several well-directed moments, the film as a whole is too heavily invested in the weight of it all, the intense synth/choral soundtrack and push for constant tension only weakening the dramatic potential. Huisman lacks the presence to be the lead, though puts in a good effort, while Palmer, who was sensational in the recent Berlin Syndrome, is all but wasted, though is, as always, so great to watch. She’s a terrific talent that deserves better.
2:22 is an ambitious film that works hard to get to its twist, layering it in cumbersome platitudes that keep the story and the experience veering in every direction. While it might be trying to keep it a fantasy, the result is too labored to really enjoy, an overly-produced, under-written story that loses all its steam by the second act.
2:22 (2017) Review
Movie description: 2:22 is a 2017 thriller about a man's life who is derailed when an ominous pattern of events repeats itself in exactly the same manner every day, ending at precisely 2:22 p.m.
Director(s): Paul Currie
Actor(s): Teresa Palmer, Michiel Huisman, Sam Reid