Teenage slacker Tim Edge gets more than he bargained for when he convinces his two best friends to skip a school trip. After stumbling into the laboratory of mad scientist Lena Eidelhorn, they learn of the Vitalitron, Lena’s latest invention, which predicts the time of death of any living creature. An unwitting subject in Lena’s experiment, Tim, discovers he only has two hours left to live. Without time on his side, Tim and his mates create a bucket list that will cram a lifetime into the next two hours.
If you’ve got two hours to live, I’m not sure writing out a bucket list is the wisest usage of your time. Even the five minutes that might take can’t be spared. But that’s what the main character in 2:Hrs does as he races to beat the clock when an experimental machine, which purports to be able to predict the longevity of any living creature, gives him 120 minutes to live. So says the Vitalitron, the highlight of an inventor’s three decades of research and an effort backed by a so-called New York billionaire who looks a lot less well off than he says he is. Tim had no business getting in the machine in the first place, but he plays fast and loose with the rules—a rebellious streak that intensified in the wake of his father’s death. He and two friends peel away from the rest of his schoolmates on a school trip to a London museum.
Tim’s probably done some experimenting on his own. How else to explain the small pet that looks like something straight out of Men in Black that he carries around? Maybe that’s why he got in the machine. That’s never explained. What we do learn, however, is that since the machine hasn’t been tested on a human, the inventor wants to monitor Tim, to see if the grim event takes place on schedule. (Or rather, given the financial stakes involved if the machine proves true, to make certain that it does.)
Tim and friends Alf and Vic make a run for it, pursued by a ridiculously bumbling reporter and photographer tandem, who have been promised $100,000 apiece to capture Tim. Tim’s friends try to help him escape, while at the same time fulfilling his bucket list, literally written on the bottom of what used to be a bucket of chicken. The list: to get over his fear of heights, to kiss a hot girl, to paint some graffiti and to ride a motorcycle.
While running the streets of London, Tim reassesses his life—the prank he pulled on his sister before he realized his time left was in manageable digits. He realizes he has lived selfishly and spends his remaining minutes trying to make up for it, even if it costs him items on the list. That leads to a final few scenes best not revealed here, even though the Vitalitron ultimately proves correct.
The movie forces us to ask how we might live differently if we knew exactly when death would overtake us, but it also reinforces the point that there are certain things we may be better off not knowing. Jesus Himself said there were times and dates with which we didn’t need to concern ourselves (Acts 1:7). What you are better off knowing about this movie, however, is that it is Dove-Approved for All Ages and an enjoyable, if slightly corny, way to spend the 85 minutes into which Tim’s 120 are crammed.
The Dove Take:
Time waits for nobody, but the lack of it can make you a little crazy, according to this enjoyable little flick.