P A U L W A L K E R
Fast & Furious star Paul Walker leaves behind his fast cars and macho attitude to take on a role that is quite enduring; continuing the SXSW theme of unimpressive actors taking on roles that challenge them. Still set up as a thriller, Hours has Walker nearly on screen the entire film talking to himself and a premature baby. For Walker this is a step in the right direction and he is admirable in the part, however during the film I couldn’t help but think about who would have better in this role that depends on inner monologue and sustaining the audience interest in a character who should show you what he is about rather than tell you. Jamie Foxx would have been the ultimate choice for this part.
Nolan’s wife Abigail (Genesis Rodriguez) goes into labor early and in bad timing as hurricane Katrina is about to devastate the New Orleans coast. Abigail suffers a bleeding liver and doesn’t make it, leaving Nolan (Walker) with a newborn completely reliant on an incubator to survive. When the storm worsens and the majority of the hospital is evacuated the doctor says he will return to help Nolan move the incubator, but he power goes out, the battery fails and Nolan finds himself all alone in a dark hospital.
127 Hours and Cast Away are the two only successful films that have an actor solely on screen for the majority of the film. Walker won’t land an Oscar nomination like James Franco and Tom Hanks did, but perhaps this will show a softer more nurturing side to the actor who has a career of forgettable action flicks. Hours is written and directed by Eric Heisserer who also departs from terrible film credits like Final Destination 5 and The Thing.
The most captivating element of the suspenseful drama is watching a man forced to become a loving farther in the most unbelievable of circumstances. Literally holding his child’s life in his hands and fighting with every ounce of his being to get help. The plot devices in the film are surprising from looters to animals and the impossible situation at hand. However accessing the situation as with most “one-man-shows” you can likely assume the conclusion. The script often isn’t strong enough in scene where Walker talks to the baby explaining family history and reminiscing in flashbacks, but the ending, while predictable is nearly tear jerking.
Final Thought – A decent, but unlikely suspense thriller.
By: Dustin Chase