Overview: With just hours left before the end of the world, James, a troubled and indecisive man, must determine how to spend the time he has left. 2013; Roadshow Films; Unrated; 87 minutes.
Full Disclosure: I know that people are getting tired of the apocalyptic subgenre, and I get it. Okay, I don’t completely get it. I love apocalyptic films. If a movie’s about the world ending, I’m in. Even bad apocalyptic films are fun for me. But I do understand being tired of seeing recycled premises, even if they’re originally interesting ones. Hell, I’m so tired of superhero movies that I roll my eyes every time a new one’s announced. But being tired of a genre doesn’t mean that it still isn’t churning out great films, and These Final Hours is really, really great film.
Sometimes you watch a movie so good that you want to stand on the rooftops and proclaim its greatness. You want to force everyone you know to sit down right now and watch this film. You want to marry this freaking movie, because it’s so perfect and you’re not sure you’ll love anything else the way you love this movie. That’s how I feel about These Final Hours. This film manages to feel riddled with both death and despair and beauty and hope. With a hushed artistic scope, it’s everything that I want from an apocalyptic film. I wish I’d written it.
The Film’s Heart and Soul: This movie is as great as it is because of the stunningly good performances its cast gives. Nathan Phillips is superb as Jamie. He expresses so much with every look, every touch. Without him, this movie wouldn’t have worked. Luckily, he’s basically flawless in his performance. Angourie Rice also impresses with her performance of Rose, a young girl that Jamie picks up along the way. Jamie and Rose’s relationship is one of the most interesting dynamics I’ve seen in a movie in a long time. Physically, Jamie is Rose’s protector. He’s older and stronger, but mentally, emotionally, it’s Rose who takes care of Jamie. She has a purpose and a quiet strength that Jamie doesn’t seem to understand when the film begins. Their relationship is a beautiful thing, and if I have a big complaint about the movie, it’s only that I didn’t get to see more of these two. But hey, it is the end of the world after all. Everyone’s longing for more time.
In the End: I can’t say enough about how much I like this movie. These Final Hours might feel as if it’s playing with recycled material, but god, it plays so well.