These Final Hours Blu-ray Review
Something about the land down under that brings out the worst in people when it comes to the end of the world. Just within the past year we’ve seen MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and THE ROVER storm onto the screens painting a bleak world when things go south. By contrast, America’s version of this kind of predicament is THE HUNGER GAMES and other young adult visions. If you haven’t seen any of these movies, I’ll go ahead and point out that the Australian version is hopelessness while the American version is optimistic. THESE FINAL HOURS is a movie that combines optimism in the face of human resignation.
If there is an U.S. equivalent to THESE FINAL HOURS, it’s SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD, which is another movie I thoroughly enjoyed for adding thought and heart to its overly done premise. THESE FINAL HOURS is far from a comedy for Steve Carell and Keira Knightley to poke their funny faces in. However, THESE FINAL HOURS finds outstanding performances from a group of unknowns to viewers in the western hemisphere.
The world doesn’t have much time, in fact, just less than 12 hours. An asteroid slammed into the Northern Atlantic Ocean, sending a wall of flames and death to encircle the globe over the next half a day. We pick up just minutes after the announcement, with James (Phillips). He’s having very graphic sex with his loved one, as expected by any human being that just found out their life will be extinguished. Of course the news of imminent death isn’t helped by the news that his significant other just found out that she’s pregnant with his child. His self-obsession prevents him from showing concern or care and instead the duel pieces of bad news sends him into a drug and alcohol fueled bender across the fast devolving society around him.
His drunken road trip causes him to cross paths with Rose (Rice), a young preteen girl, who is at the mercy of two rapists. James saves Rose and takes her with him as Rose wants to be reconnected with her father and family. James’ end scenario was going to be at an end of the world party, but the introduction of Rose introduces a creeping sense of moral obligation. That humanity begins to settle back in and sober him up.
While most people are ready to submit to their most despicable instincts or simply consume an insane amount of drugs necessary to forget this predicament, James finds himself beginning to think outside his selfish needs. It’s the end of life as we know it, what’s the care, concern, and feelings of others matter anymore? While there are no mentions of spirituality or God’s will during this apocalypse, there is a natural sense of right and wrong.
It blossoms once James and Rose arrive to the end of the world bash. People are willfully playing Russian roulette, fornicating in massive groups, and consuming all hallucinogens in sight. It’s easy to lose oneself in this kind of scenario, but the carelessness of those around James has the opposite effect. It doesn’t matter what’s going on, no young girl should be subjected to the sights and sounds she’s witnessing.
It’s not irregular for a story to find a sense of redemption against insurmountable odds. THESE FINAL HOURS relies heavily on the acting of Nathan Phillips and the young Angourie Rice, and it pays off in dividends. Without their solid acting, and a script that is willing to shows how much our main character can growth within a short time span, THESE FINAL HOURS evolves into something more meaningful than your average run-of-the-mill doomsday fare. Even as the predictable final act starts, it can’t help but feel truly genuine.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) This blu-ray features a sharp and crisp presentation of mankind’s final hours. Everything is in a soft glowing yellow hue, as if to represent the impending fiery doom.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) This movie’s bizarre soundtrack comes through clearly on this blu-ray. It jumps from speed metal, dance music, and foreboding music as James drives the desolate towns. There’s a good balance between the dialogue and music, and neither fight for superiority.