Hours (2013)

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Director: Eric Heisserer

Writer: Eric Heisserer

Starring: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez, Nancy Nave

Rating: ★★½

Hours is one of the last films the late Paul Walker filmed before his tragic death, and this unfortunately is one of the reasons this fairly unknown release caught my eye. It’s an innovative thriller, and works well at times, however despite including a great performance from Walker and a slightly new exciting concept, it is very sloppy and badly executed making for a very mixed viewing experience.

The story focuses on Nolan Walker (Paul Walker) who finds himself in the middle of Hurricane Katrina after the birth of his new born daughter. His wife sadly died during the birth process and therefore his new daughter Abigail, named after her mother, is in need of care and is placed in an incubator which provides oxygen and food. The hurricane seems to head towards the hospital and all staff and patients are evacuated, apart from the distraught and deserted Nolan and Abigail. Nolan now has to care for his baby as she fights for her life and defend her from the trouble of the hurricane.  However when the power goes off along with the generators, and the first floors of the hospital flood, Nolan has to find a solution to keep Abigail and the incubator alive as her first days of life become a survival mission.

Hours has a very exciting story and the decreasing and ticking power supply to Abigail’s incubator acts like a bomb in an action film keeping us on edge. However it doesn’t seem to change much throughout the film, as the battle for survival drags on and occasionally changes from the fight for power to the fight for food. It works very well for the first half of the film, but for me it needed developing as it became boring and less intriguing. I was disappointed that the Hurricane itself wasn’t as troublesome, despite its “knock-on” effect on the power it really didn’t make much of an appearance throughout the film. Hours frustratingly too, seemed to have a really bad portrayal of people, which essentially caused more problems for Nolan than the Hurricane, all hospital staff even before the crisis abandon poor Nolan and even his dead wife was left on the floor, also throughout it seemed everyone was unhelpful and this felt over-dramatized despite its attempt to make us feel for Nolan’s situation more.

 Paul Walker’s portrayal of Nolan was very good, and encouraged us to connect for him. His acting was realistic, and the grit, determination and stress which should have been felt by our lead character really came through. Hours however lacked any other characters, which I felt was slightly responsible for the film not being able to develop too much. The directing and effects were very limited, nothing exciting jumped out as a highlight, however it should be said the film looked good for such a modern-day low budget.

Hours had a really good concept, one which at first I was excited by, however it wasn’t developed enough and didn’t reach full potential, with even the climax and ending seeming very dull.  Despite Walker’s strong performance it was a very average film which although was slightly entertaining, feels somewhat un-worthwhile whilst its lack of progress makes it drag and become boring. Hours could have been so much better but sadly it wasn’t, this isn’t the must-watch thriller I was hoping for and Its certainly not something you should rush to see.