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2:22 (Blu-ray Review)

27 Jul, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Prebook 7/27/10; Street 8/24/10
$26.98 DVD or Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.
Stars Mick Rossi, Robert Miano, Aaron Gallagher, Peter Dobson, Val Kilmer.

The “heist gone wrong” is a well-worn storyline in Hollywood that never gets old. Cinematic overtures to committing the “perfect crime” have been underscored over the years in films such as Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Carlito’s Way, The Bank Job, Inside Man and Sam Peckinpah’s The Getaway, among others.

Independent film 2:22 deserves its place among that pantheon of ensemble-cast movies featuring a lead character (or two) typically doomed to one last gig before promised repatriation with normalcy.

The slow-starting film introduces a principled Gulliver Mercer (Mick Rossi, who co-wrote the screenplay) taking out his wife’s lover on a cold, snowy night in Boston. Fast-forward 10 years, and it’s still cold and snowing with Mercer now spearheading a group of ex-cons who assemble periodically for small-time heists of jewelry and cash.

The loot is melted down and refashioned into salable finery, thanks to the workings of an eccentric/autistic jeweler named Maz (effectively played by Val Kilmer).

There’s also Willy (Robert Miano), who worked with Mercer’s father years ago. Finn (Aaron Gallagher) is a borderline sociopath who kills the family dog because it barks. And loyal Gael (Jorge A. Jimenez) has a girlfriend devoted to his spoils while apparently indifferent to their origins.

Robin Hood and his band of merry men this motley crew is not.

Yet director Phillip Guzman entrances the patient viewer with deliberate pacing, character development and a catchy soundtrack. An interesting cameo by Gabriel Byrne adds to the intrigue. You almost want the group to succeed in their post-New Year’s Eve (hence the film’s title) hotel safe heist as much as you want them to come in from the freezing cold.

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