48 Hours To Live


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

48 Hours To Live
"What it lacks in terms of original ideas, the film tries to make up for with loud music and flashing lights."

Wyatt (James Maslow) has been caught up in petty crime all his life. He's a former pill-popper doing time in rehab, and is beginning to think seriously about building a different kind of life for himself when he gets a call from his sister. There's an urgent, pleading request, and then a gunshot. From then on, Wyatt's course is set.

If you haven't seen enough gangland thrillers set in and around nightclubs where men threaten each other and women dance in skimpy clothing this week, 48 Hours To Live could be right up your street. It has all the classic ingredients: guns, drugs, muscular minions, a surly Scot (Tommy Flanagan, effortlessly stealing scenes just by raising his eyebrows), a hero who falls for the boss' daughter, and law enforcement officers of dubious virtue. It's the latter who, interrupting Wyatt's hunt for his sister's killer, give him just 48 hours to help them take down the big boss if he wants to stay out of trouble. The title may be stretching it a bit - this isn't DOA - but one has to admit that it's an improvement on the original, Wild For The Night.

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What it lacks in terms of original ideas, the film tries to make up for with loud music and flashing lights, as if positioning itself as a substitute for actually going to a nightclub. It presents the women in the club as tragic figures but doesn't hesitate to exploit them in a similar way to the gangsters. Wyatt's sister, we are told, sold herself to a man like this. The reasons for that, whether economic or romantic, are never clarified. Was it really a group of men who contributed to her death? Is society to blame? Wyatt wrestles with these questions, stiffening his shoulders and wrinkling his forehead slightly.

The double crosses are run of the mill. The big twist is saved for the end, playing with the formula on which the rest has depended but not strong enough to justify it. One idea like this is not enough to hang a film on. The characters show little development beyond what's essential to the story, and little effort is made by the actors. Benny Boom stages a couple of stylised set pieces that might work in a music video but are out of place with the pedestrian direction elsewhere in this film. Unless you're particularly impressed by shouting or the shocking message that the world isn't always a very nice place, there's just not much to see here.

48 Hours To Live is available to watch on Digital Download from 23rd October

Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017
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48 Hours To Live packshot
A loner who has just emerged from rehab tries to solve the murder of his sister.

Director: Benny Boom

Writer: Gregory Ramon Anderson, Rashad El Amin

Starring: James Maslow, Bianca A Santos, Tommy Flanagan, Madison Iseman, Lil Mama Kirkland Niatia

Year: 2016

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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