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Thursday, 24 June 2010

Stylish and impressive, 2:22 (dir Phillip Guzman, 2008) is a crime thriller that punches above its weight and maintains a satisfying level of suspense throughout the duration.

The robbery takes place in a hotel in the dead of night. The four thieves break open dozens of safe-deposit boxes, emptying the contents into a pair of large, black bags. There's some trouble with one of the guests, however, who returns to his room late, interrupting the robbers at their tasks. He demands a bottle of champagne, then returns to his room. Spooked by this troublesome man, the thieves knock him out with the butt of a gun and drag him down to the kitchen, where a number of other guests have been constrained along with the hotel's night staff.

Then two heavies appear at the hotel's front door, demanding access. A police car drives by, and the cops get out and move the toughs along. The two remain suspicious, however. It's the little things that count - in this case the dirt under the nails of Gulliver, the robber who appears at the door. When the robbers pack up and leave, the two guns are waiting for them, and open fire in the snow-filled street. There's a short battle, the robbers get away, and the police arrive soon after, alerted by the gunshots.

Days later, one of the robbers takes an amount of drugs he secured during the robbery to a dealer. While he's inside the tattoo parlour which fronts as the dealer's HQ, things start to go horribly wrong. Then when the troublesome guy from the hotel turns up at Willy's place, they get even worse.

Loyalty, skill, nerve, and a lot of good, old-fashioned police work contribute to make this something of a nail-biter right to the end. The good guys and the bad guys are easily identified, and it's a testament to the hard work put in by the director and writers (Guzman and Mick Rossi, who plays Gulliver) that a bunch of rotten jewel thieves can be turned into a posse of white-hats.

But it's only a matter of time. There were mistakes made. People aren't stupid.

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