These Final Hours: Review
I often find myself in the mood for a reminder of what’s important in life, which is probably why I am a big fan of apocalypse style movies and these final hours totally fits the bill.
These movies make you imagine how you’d spend your last hours, where you’d go, what you’d do, who you’d do it with. These Final Hours explores these questions from vantage points ranging from the mentally ill on a killing spree, to a father just trying to do what’s best for his wife and kids.
I doubt anyone would describe These Final Hours as a subtle movie. The theme hits you like a hammer to the side of an attempted child rapists head (go James go!) but that seems to work for this movie.
It’s not totally without its nuisances however. About halfway through the film James and Rose enter James’ sisters house looking to see if Rose can stay with them (this is before James’ turning point of going all in with the get Rose to her dad campaign), and they come across open photo albums and a decorated Christmas tree. I was worried that the script would explain to me what they’re walking through and have my intelligence insulted. Thank goodness they didn’t! Instead the only dialogue is Rose saying “it’s not Christmas” to let the viewer know its actually not Christmas (the movie is based in Australia and we’re never really told what time of year it is), and allows us to come to the conclusion ourselves that his sisters family chose to spend their final hours celebrating their favorite time of year. I thought that was a really great fit for the movie.
Something else that really stands out is when James is put in situations where he has to decide whether or not to tell a character that something awful has happened to someone they love. I have to say, I feel James was 2/2. Sometimes it’s best to save that person from the heart ache of terrible news (especially when they only have hours to live), and other times its the right thing to do so you can allow them to say goodbye. I really felt like I was experiencing the struggle right along with him.
As society devolved into bloodshed and alcohol soaked orgies, we watched a man grow into a better man in a natural and realistic way. It all made sense and I bought into his journey right from the start.
The weakest point of the movie for me personally (most people may disagree, especially fans of boobs and head shots), was the party seen which is James’ original end game. Not that I’m so naive that I don’t realize that’s likely an accurate portrayal of how some people would choose to spend their last hours, but it just didn’t seem grounded in reality enough for my taste.
Would there really be THAT many people in the same boat? Where was the dark struggle to stay up and happy and in party mode? (maybe the little pink pills take care of that) and if for sake of argument that party was ultra realistic, wouldn’t it have been darker, even more violent and insane as the time ticks down to under 5 hours left? I don’t know, I’m not an expert on the human psyche obviously nor have I ever experienced an apocalypse while awake, but some of that scene took me out of the story a little.
The imminent threat is partially explained early in the movie, with a shot of a large asteroid entering the atmosphere, and updates provided as we go via the 2012 Woody Harrelson style radio man. Yet it’s also partially kept a mystery until the final seconds of the film.
This may be another small complaint I have about the movie. Could an asteroid really cause something like that? Although the specific threat isn’t what’s really important in the movie, its much more about raising questions for ourselves as we watch a mans redemption story and the varying ways people would react in a situation like that.
Although it beats the hell out of a tidal wave which is what I thought the threat was the whole time. Drive inland people! After seeing the actual threat, I fully understood why people were checking out early. Peeled like an orange indeed.
I don’t really like giving movies a rating, because it really depends on the type of viewer, what mood you’re in and what your expectations are going into the movie.
Instead, I’ll just say it’s worth a watch if you’re looking for an end of days type flick but you’re sick of watching Armageddon and zombie movies.