Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
In Theaters
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Savant
Horror DVDs
The M.O.D. Squad
Art House
HD Talk
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info



Magnolia Home Entertainment // PG-13 // September 26, 2017
List Price: $18.28 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Thomas Spurlin | posted November 18, 2017 | E-mail the Author
The Film:

The adage that a love affair or an event was "in the stars", meaning meant to be, gets taken quite literally in 2:22, the fantasy-romance thriller and decades-later sophomore effort from Paul Currie. There's a degree of mystical belief that follows along with that concept, in which sequences of events and the rise and fall of personal relationships simply cannot be changed by the trajectory that the universe has laid out … unless the stars themselves change, of course. Someone getting swept up in those musings in relation to their life certainly isn't a rare occurrence, but it's a little more difficult to stay engaged in a story that operates in such predestination, else the actions of the characters involved seem -- to a degree -- futile. The premise of 2:22 attempts to evade and investigate the mechanisms of predestination, but the bluntly-delivered and static nature of the story plays into that inability to alter one's path, which isn't helped by the film's hollow metaphysical fiat.

Dylan Branson, an air traffic controller who rides his bike to work through the city of New York on a daily basis, leads a life full of structure and predictability. When he's at work, maintaining order and organization is crucial, which plays into his inherent strengths of mathematical calculation and deduction of patterns. One day, however, he isn't so great at his job, where he's distracted by an inexplicable force that results in a very close call for one flight. In the aftermath of him getting rattled on the job, he meets Sarah (Teresa Palmer), an administrator for a local art gallery, and the two hit it off passionately. In the midst of their brimming love affair, however, Dylan begins to see flashes of the same -- or similar -- events happening around him on a daily basis, and he believes them to be tied to the disruption that caused his accident at work. Using his mathematical skills, he attempts to cipher what's going on, as well as how it factors into New York's Grand Central Station and the time 2:22.

From the first glimpse at Dylan's day as he exercises, pedals through the city, and enters the air-traffic booth at work, 2:22 hits an cumbersome dramatic rhythm that seems less interested in the character himself than in the systemic nature of his routine. Like the mathematical clockwork of Dylan's mind, the film's moving parts are perceptibly setting up the supernatural revelations to come, made obvious with small emphasized details throughout -- dead bugs, water drops, car crashes -- as well as the bluntness of conversations that exist just for the sake of explanation. Despite the undeniable and effortless charisma of Michiel Huisman, the bluntness of the scripting plays more like something that'd show on Syfy than a grounded modern fantasy. It's as if the character establishment exists out of obligation to the mystery instead of wanting to dig into the intricacies of his potentially absorbing personality, an interesting one that involves a chip on his shoulder and an off-kilter, almost Beautiful Mind-ish perception of the world.

The introduction of the romantic pursuits in 2:22 happens in sync with the rise of its supernatural elements, both arriving on the shoulders of Sarah, the woman whom enters his life out of a massive stroke of luck. Whether it's a war epic or a love story involving zombies, Teresa Palmer consistently brings an air of validity and sincere emotionality to any scenario, conveying a lot on a nonverbal level through her soulful, oftentimes bewildered glances and smile. Surrounded by cobalt-blue shadowing, flickers of stardust, and emphatic music that really, really wants the audience to endure a swell of emotion, the moment that she locks eyes with Huisman's Dylan ushers in the film's grand design involving the happenstance and destiny of these two strangers. In the here and now, it's an effective scene on the surface; however, the fated promptness of their escalating relationship and the scope of their mystical connection hurries through whatever natural buildup might've developed between ‘em.

Everything that comes before almost seem practical in comparison to the web of coincidence and interconnectivity involved once 2:22 really kicks into gear. Revealing the extent of the nonsense isn't feasible without exposing the film's secrets, but one should prepare for a host of cosmic parallels and little substance to the rationale behind what's happening. When it's not resorting to sporadic explosions of glass or chandeliers crashing on the floor for excitement, the story gets stuck in a holding pattern while Dylan tries to puzzle out the repetition and congruences around him, touching upon abstract mysteries that exist in the same stylish sci-fantasy genre space as, say, Vanilla Sky or The Butterfly Effect. Murder cases, echoes of the past, and how they're impacted by the stars form into an odd mishmash of expectation and inertia in 2:22, and while there's grandness of scope to the answers behind it all, a lack of purpose and clarity behind Dylan's strange occurrences casts a cloud over its weightier motivations.

Video and Audio:

2:22 operates largely on intimate close-ups during conversations between Palmer and Huisman, which take place in the space of their living spaces, at restaurants, or out and about in the park or at Sarah's gallery. Aside from a few avant-garde pans and framings, the cinematography stays relatively pedestrian at most points, elevated by contemporary contrast balance and modern texture in the set design. Magnolia's Blu-ray navigates the sharpness of details and the depth of black levels with grace, enhancing dimensionality with steady shadows and contours. Intricate details in facial stubble, digitally-rendered star speckles, and handwriting offer impressive clarity, while the lines of a clock's face and the shattering of glass particles showcase the transfer's general stability. Skin tones are warm, natural, yet unremarkable, while lush greens in leaves and the deep blues during a dance performance lend vibrancy to the palette. Some smoothness and grayish black levels here and there doesn't prevent 2:22 from shining in HD.

Glass shattering and airplanes soaring ahead are the predominant sources of audible interest in this 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, but they're crucial to the film's atmospheric design and bursts of effective tension. The rattle of the traumatic plane ride pushes the surround design to proper extents, filling the space with broad, thick effects to solidify the illusion. Sonic eruptions, a crashed chandelier, and a car wreck also offer tight midrange bass response, but it's mostly the higher-pitched twinkles and snaps that make ‘em a joy to listen to. Dialogue is prevalent here, and it mostly sounds well-balanced and audible enough, though there are a few sequences where the center channel gets pretty thin and raspy. The music is clean as a whistle, and the surround stage enjoys moderate responsiveness, though nothing to get excited about.

Special Features:

2:22. Time With the Story and Characters (12:29, 16x9 HD) initially features director Paul Currie as he discusses the film's romantic and metaphysical intentions, but that segues into discussion about the individual characters form Michiel Huisman and Teresa Palmer. Generous clips from the film break up fairly rudimentary elaborations on details about their characters, in which probably 5-6 minutes of substance gets strewn out to double that length. Recreating New York and Grand Central (6:20, 16x9 HD) brings director Currie more into the spotlight amid dissection of how they duplicated the New York landscape in Australia, involving millimeter-accurate plans and pre-viz, while Working With the Director and Cast (8:40, 16x9 HD) takes a more general and meta look at how the cast operated with one another. There's way too much footage from the film crammed in with the limited interviews to enjoy the admittedly pretty shallow-level chats.

There's also a Theatrical Trailer (2:27, 16x9 HD).

Final Thoughts:

2:22 gets in a rush to reach the more intriguing, enigmatic facets of its supernatural concept, hinged on parallels in space and time based on the power of the stars, and there isn't anything inherently wrong with that. Unfortunately, a big part of the narrative comes in the deep, one-in-a-lifetime connection between the two main characters, something that the film neglects underneath its clunky conversational exposition and tunnel-vision focus on cosmic mysteries. Its realization of the concept leaves just as much to be desired, connecting dots and navigating twists without bridging the crucial gap that conveys the general essence and purpose of what's going on. Suitable performances and a fine grasp on aesthetic try to elevate 2:22, but it starts out rocky at takeoff, never really recovers, and struggles with the landing. Skip It.

Thomas Spurlin, Staff Reviewer -- DVDTalk Reviews | Personal Blog/Site
Buy from






Skip It

E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Popular Reviews
1. Moonfall (4K Ultra HD)

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links