Hours: Paul Walker as a…Father?

Hello everybody! For this week’s new movie thing show we have Paul Walker’s last film Hours.

HOURS

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DIRECTOR: Eric Heisserer

STARRING: Paul Walker,Kerry Cahill,Génesis Rodríguez,TJ Hassan,Nick Gomez,Judd Lormand

GENRE: Thriller

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: United States

In New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina hits, a pregnant woman gives birth prematurely. She dies and her baby is in critical condition. The baby has to be kept in a neonatal incubator. When the hurricane strikes, all the power goes out and everyone in the hospital leaves. But the baby’s father stays because the baby can’t be moved so he has to take care of his baby by making sure the ventilator stays on. And because there’s no power, the only power source is generator that he has to crank every few minutes. So he has to stay awake while waiting for someone to come for them.

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The film gives Walker the chance for the kind of extended-scene emoting the Fast and Furious lugs don’t get when their women are killed off for plot reasons. Before the hurricane hits, a doctor breaks the news. Walker responds in one long, raw take: first confusion, then confused denial, than panicked bullying: “Don’t touch me, and tell me she’s fine!” It’s a sturdy performance undermined by the cheapness of the setup. We’ve seen deaths like this in a thousand movies, mostly written in to free up the hero for his adventures, and audiences have long ago accepted that such tragedies can be hustled through with a single screamed “No!”

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His reaction to the news that his wife has died seems painfully forced and his monologues to his daughter about her mother fall flat instead of drawing out emotion. He gets an ‘A for effort’ but it doesn’t make the movie any more enjoyable. Without the ‘based on a true story’ line the sequences of Walker running off to scavenge, find food, and try to get rescued seem like a pretty big stretch given that he’s got to be back in his daughter’s room to crank that generator every 2-3 minutes. And while they make a point of him setting an alarm on his watch and racing around the hospital when it beeps, it just seems awfully implausible.

PROS:

  • A for effort.
  • Decent direction.

CONS:

  • In plausible time rule.
  • Emotionless acting.

SCORE: 5.8 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

 

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