Posted by: Pinar Tarhan | October 22, 2009

24th DAY (2004)

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For a lot of people, James Marsden is best known for his role as Cyclops in the X-men series. He has also proven that he can sing and be funny in movies like Hairspray and Enchantment. He could also pull-off regular romantic in 27 dresses. But if there is a movie that proves what a good actor Marsden is, it is this one. This movie doesn’t have special effects, a strong ensemble cast or expensive production. Here he has one equally talented co-star (Scott Speedman- who we also remember from expensive productions such as the Underworld movies, where he plays a vampire/werewolf hybrid), inside of a small flat as location and probably a small camera crew. With lesser actors, the movie could be a disaster. After all we are talking about a drama/thriller that takes all of its excitement from the twists of the story and the strength of the actors.

Tom (Speedman) and Dan (Marsden) meet in a bar and they get along. They end up going to Tom’s apartment. What we expect to happen is some flirting and a one night stand. Instead, Tom starts to act strange. Dan doesn’t remember it but they have been in his apartment before. They had sex before. Dan is weirded out by Tom’s behavior and wants to leave but is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up, he is tied up in a chair. Then Tom reveals the reason behind his behavior. He has found out he has AIDS 24 days ago. Since Dan is the only guy he has ever been with, he is sure he got it from him. So it is simple, really: Tom is going to get Dan’s blood tested. If Dan doesn’t have it, he will walk. If he does, Tom is going to kill him.

After that, we have mind-games, power-plays, plot-twists. The story is slow, but never boring until the moment Tom takes Dan hostage. After that, it is one hell of a ride.

The script is based on a play by the play the director/screenwriter himself (Tony Piccirillo). It is intense and gripping. It is also one of the most interesting low-budget movies I have seen. Give it a shot.

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