When creating a story longer than 500 words, or several lines of poetry, most people know the obvious: you need an idea and a beginning, middle, and an end. But, in actuality, you typically need two ideas that come together in an interesting way to have a tale that isn’t a one-line point or joke. 2:22 revolves around a single, albeit poetic, idea. It seems like it is more than one idea, but, boiled down, it is really just the one and that idea is not enough to carry the whole tale.
In addition, at two critical confrontations it loses credibility, allowing the tenuous structure to collapse and simply become interesting rather than good. And it is an interesting and clever take on a number of common tropes. To explain that or to provide examples would rob this film of its impact, so I won’t. The way the story unfolds, to slowly reveal and define the mystery, is also quite well done.
The main cast are fairly good as well. Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones, Age of Adaline) and Teresa Palmer (Point Break) have great chemistry. The script by Stein and Parker, however, lets them down. A rather unexpected turn of events given Parker’s previous script for Moon. Currie’s direction, despite some good effort, can’t dig them out of the hole when the things get difficult. And Sam Reid, as the third pole of the main plot, is also less than convincing for me.
As purely a bit of fantastical romance, 2:22 mostly works. It lacks the lasting joy and wow of, say, Mr Nobody, but it isn’t without its merits. As an early project for almost everyone involved behind the camera, it also shows some promise if they can better spot the weaknesses in their efforts and shore them up.