Movie Review: “Hours”

Hours is a 2013 American thriller film marking Eric Heisserer’s directing debut. He also wrote the story for the movie, and you may know him for his work in the A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, as well as Final Destination 5.

The film stars Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez, TJ Hassan, and Judd Lormand, and is notable for being one of Paul Walker’s last films. I really didn’t have very much anticipation going into this movie, I hadn’t heard of it, however, I saw that it was available at Family Video, and I figured that I might as well give it a chance. The movie takes place in 2005 while Hurricane Katrina begins to run rampant. Paul Walker plays the role of Nolan Hayes, a father of a newborn baby that has to come to grips with the fact that his wife was lost in the process. If this wasn’t traumatic enough, his child needs to stay in a neonatal incubator, however, as the hurricane happens, he soon finds himself being the only person left in the evacuated hospital.

The name of the movie is derived from the fact that he has to keep cranking up a generator for the incubator, and before long, the minutes transition into long hours of desperation while he deals with the stress, as well as the sleep deprivation.

The movie reminds me of Gravity in a certain extent, obviously this isn’t because of riveting theatrics or special-effects. Hours operates within the restrictions of a four-million dollar budget, and most of the time expires whilst inside of the hospital. I am referring to the simplicity of the story, both are about survival and both rely essentially on the merit of one or two actors to carry the film. I have never been too big of a fan when it came to Paul Walker, I have nothing against his acting ability, but his movies have simply never eclipsed my own interests. I don’t know what the critical reception of this movie is, nor have I seen enough of Paul Walker’s movies to really say this.

    However, I do believe that this movie was a strong final feather in Paul Walker’s cap.

In the first twenty or so minutes of the movie, I was beginning to feel like his acting might have been phoned in, as if he was simply going through the motions without much in the way of investment.

However, by the conclusion of the movie, I found myself reach the agreement that he had delivered a solid and immersed performance in his role. I found it easy to sympathize with the characters situation, as well as appreciate the attributes attached to the performance. Paul Walker’s character demonstrated going into shock, desperation, and ultimately a brute stubbornness that gives him the will to advance onward as the movie progresses. You find yourself rooting for the character because they take the time to make you understand that if he doesn’t succeed, he will have nothing left.

As far as criticisms go, as I have already said, in the first twenty or so minutes, the movie doesn’t have anything worthwhile, and by the end of the movie, I had honestly thought the movie had been well-over two-hours, when in-reality, the movie barely peaked over one and a half. I don’t think the movie dragged too much, however, I do believe it’s safe to say that certain aspects went-by much slower than they needed to. While I usually find myself enjoying movies that expand on singular and simple concepts, it’s fair to say that oftentimes they find themselves struggling to find ways to take up the minutes.

There are also a couple of moments that I found myself questioning as too silly for the narrative that had other-wise played it serious, given the situation, I question the necessity of the Rescue Dog that helps to advance the story, as well as other small intricacies.

In an effort to keep things simple, I’ll summarize by saying while it isn’t an absolutely amazing movie, I do offer it a lot of praise. Paul Walker’s acting was admirable, carrying the concept on his back, whilst the camera-work and concept feels inspired. There is certain oddball moments in the movie that I didn’t think were necessary, but for the most-part, I found for the movie to have been well-executed and surprising well-made film.

Rating: – 3.5 out of 5.0