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July 2010

2:22

cast: Peter Dobson, Robert Miano, Mick Rossi, Val Kilmer, and Gabriel Byrne

director: Phillip Guzman

104 minutes (18) 2008
widescreen ratio 16:9
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
review by Danny O'Connor

2:22

This is a 'hotel heist' and repercussions movie. My score of 4/10 shows it not to be an Ocean's anything. Overall it is downbeat and depressing with none of the main characters being in the least engaging or sympathetic. The plot is driven by unconvincing 'coincidences'. Of the two star cameos Val Kilmer's pedantic paranoid jeweller/ fence is okay-ish at best. Gabriel Byrne's cop is hidden behind large teardrop sunglasses in a supposed New York winter. It's actually Toronto making a good if bleak imitation of the Big Apple. His character's omniscient prescience is as absurd as hiding a pair of the most expressively sad eyes in Hollywood behind said sunglasses.

Mick Rossi plays Gully (#1) in his four-criminal 'crew', the "meticulous mastermind" who planned the robbing of the hotel's safety deposit boxes for exactly 2:22 AM on New Year's. He assumed a good quiet four hours for the 'take'. I don't know what monastery he spent his formative years in but, c'mon, 2:22 AM, and no party revellers? Meticulous mastermind..? Do me a favour. Inevitably the process of extracting hotel guests valuables gets interrupted up to and beyond the high farce of a petty and pompous television 'star' getting caught in a bondage session as the spankee of the PA he had been verbally abusing/ humiliating for two whole scenes previously.

What's good about the movie? Robert Miano as #3 criminal, Willy, gives a credible performance as the washed up older con who can't really hack it anymore but stays on by extorting sympathy from #1 as he used to 'run' with his father. The old guy, of course, has his valedictory moment when he refuses to squeal on #1 even to the point of being murdered by a vengeful member of a rival 'crew' who displayed the poor judgement of booking in the hotel our heroes were robbing. Oh, and the opening shot of three fingers of whiskey in a glass before it is taken up and drunk by #1, that's good. So is Gully when he wears his beard as he looks like a cut-down Commander Ryker from Star Trek.

Aaron Gallagher as #2, Fin, drew the character short straw as being the guy we were supposed not to like. His universal unlike-ability was displayed when he punched his son's dog. A few scenes later he stopped the dog's irritating barking by the simple stratagem of taking it outside and shooting it. Thus no one was surprised when his moment of truth came and he 'squealed' on #3 when being pummelled senseless by the vengeful gangster. His redemption was that his betrayal bought him time to extricate his family from the impending wrath of the revenger gangster.

Did I say that this movie's last third mutated into a revenger movie? No, well that was the repercussions from the coincidence ridden plot. #3 managed to write with his dying heart's blood the room number of his not quite psycho killer on the bottom panes of the glass door where it was found by a tearful #1 just as #1 was expiring his last breath.

This information allowed #1 and #4 to search out the revenger gangster and inflict some of their own revenge. They leave him bleeding to death in the New York/ Toronto snow with #1's malediction "You chose this life," ringing in his ears.

Meanwhile, Gabriel Byrne, all sunglasses and omniscience, is standing in his local deli when the assistant admires the magnificent engagement ring of #4's girlfriend. A few pleasantries later and the very next scene shows #4 being hustled into a squad car by Gabriel's boys.

The movie then fades out with #1 sitting in his lonely apartment with a whiskey in one hand (he's back on the sauce) and a gun in the other when there is a rat-a-tat-tat on his front door. Is it Gabriel? Is it the dead gangster's mates? Will #1 die in a bloody shoot-out? Who cares?



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