These Final Hours (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Seeking a friend?

Every now and again, I like to seek out a film that I haven’t ever heard of, and Australia always seems like a good place to start. These Final Hours is an apocalyptic film that may remind you of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World meets The Purge, which in my opinion – is kind of perfect for what the movie was going for. With all of these dystopian and post-apocalyptic films taking storm, it’s nice to know that there is some love left for plain-ol’ apocalyptic events. After all, it’s the end of the world as we know it.

These Final Hours focuses on a man named James who, along with the rest of the world, found out that an asteroid or comet has just struck the surface of the earth. It already happened and now they have no other choice but to wait for the end – which is in twelve hours. So he decides to head out to a party to get drunk and high so he doesn’t have to experience the pains of the world’s end. However, when he meets a little girl lost and searching for her family, he takes the duty upon himself to help her get there…even though they only have a few hours left anyway.

Yeah, the story is very similar to Seeking a Friend, but the tone of the movie is very different. In my humble opinion, this is how the world really would act if given a firm deadline on life. People would go absolutely crazy. They would start killing themselves and others. They would kidnap kids and commit heinous crimes…because what’s the point…they don’t have to face repercussions. In fact, this may be the most realistic Purge movie out there without really trying to be.

This film is actually more of a character-centered drama than it was an end-of-the-world thriller. We’ve seen movies like that before, see above, but I think These Final Hours got just the right amount of character drama and reminders that the end is near for it to feel, well, perfect in a lot of ways. It doesn’t focus too much on special effects, although they are there. It’s honestly more about the human condition, and making sense on why it is we feel the need to do something when logically speaking…we really don’t.

I do have one main complaint, and that is even though the film is technically pretty short (1 h. 27 min.), it weirdly feels a lot longer than that. That may be because there is a lot of promise to the film – and obstacles on their journey, but I think a more likely reason is because there may have been too many obstacles. Too many stops and maybe too many drawn-out conversations. Character-centered dramas are great, but they run the risk of having conversations and arguments that feel drawn-out…and that is a problem I believe this film faced.

The best part of the film was without a doubt this almost fatherly connection James feels to the little girl – and his paternal instincts to take care of her. Their chemistry in the movie was quite beautiful at times, and it transformed both of their characters in a really nice light.

The Good:

In some ways, I enjoyed These Final Hours more than several films about apocalyptic events. The end of the world has a lot of great potential in film, and many films have succeeded in what they were going for – and this movie may not be what you’d normally expect, but they did a really good job with it.

The Bad:

The tone of the film feels a little amateur…and I think this is mostly because it’s not American and I’m not used to films like this. I hate to say it though, but people crave films that look and feel like Hollywood, and that’s just not what this movie is. Take that as you will.

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