21 nov. 2013

My Review: Hours (5/10)

¨Every second counts.¨

Hours is Eric Heisserer's first feature film, but he is mostly known for his screenplays for The Thing (the 2010 version) and Final Destination 5. He takes a pretty interesting premise but fails in the delivery as the film has too many awkward moments with a lot of forced dialogues. Take the scene where Paul Walker's character is being given very bad news from a doctor concerning his wife. The scene felt entirely forced and never managed to draw the audience in. There are numerous scenes like that in Hours that just feel completely out of place. Paul Walker is on his own for the majority of the film and once the story began to drag it failed to engage me. There were few thrills and hardly any action scenes. For the most part it was just seeing Walker speaking out loud to his recently born infant, or to a rescue dog he encountered later on in the film. When he wasn't speaking to himself, the film gave us unnecessary flashbacks about how he and his wife met. Hours should've been a film full of tension, but Heisserer failed to deliver by adding so many unnecessary and forced scenes and not relying on Walker's physical performance alone.

The film takes place in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina as Nolan (Paul Walker) takes his pregnant wife, Abigail (Genesis Rodriguez), to a local hospital as she enters early labor. The Hurricane is about to hit the city hard while the doctors ask Nolan to stay in the waiting room while they treat Abigail. A few hours later Doctor Jeremy (TJ Hassan) comes bearing some bad news. Abigail had a complicated labor, the newborn baby has to stay on a ventilator for the next 48 hours until she learns how to breath on her own. The mother didn't make it. Making matters worse, the hospital is hit hard by the hurricane, forcing everyone to evacuate. Nolan is told to stay in the hospital with the baby until an ambulance can come back and take them to safer ground. Cut from the outside world, Nolan is on his own forced to make quick decisions in order to save his baby's life. 

If as the tagline suggests ¨Every second counts¨ than Eric Heisserer did a very lousy job because there are several seconds wasted on this film. It dragged during several moments making me feel like I was watching an over two hour film, when in reality it was just a 95 minute movie. Paul Walker isn't bad in this film, but he just isn't given the right material to carry a film on his own. The most exciting moments of the film came when a rescue dog showed up and it kind of brought life to an otherwise lifeless film. Hours is full of awkward and dull moments that bring down this film. Walker could have been given less dialogue and the flashbacks should've been cut out of the film. Some more external shots of the storm might have worked better because the wreckage scenes were pretty well shot. Overall it wasn't a terrible film, but it did fail to keep me entertained or invested in the story.


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