When filmmakers do not show an advanced screening for critics, it is usually because they realize the true Ed Wood quality of their product, as was the case with box office dud Autumn in New York. However, with the recent real-life onslaught of child abductions, Columbia Pictures chose to avoid the pre-release of director Luis Mandoki’s film adaptation of Greg Iles’ novel entitled 24 Hours, which portrays a fictionalized kidnapping of a young girl, played by Dakota Fanning. With just the right amount of eerie creepiness, Kevin Bacon plays a good bad guy in the role of the wicked snatcher who has a dual motive of deep-seeded revenge and twisted family counselor charging $250,000 per day. But his performance may be the only redeeming quality of the action thriller since Stuart Townsend makes a feeble attempt to make light of the improper casting choice as the upper class anesthesiologist. The shaky hand-held camera work leaves you screaming for Excedrin at the end of the 99 minutes, with Courtney Love’s hairdresser all together failing to finish the job. In the end, the high stake finale succumbs to utter absurdity. Whatever the real reason was for a failed pre-screening opportunity, it’s a shame that I couldn’t warn you off from this film that is trapped in Ed Wood quality.


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