Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see Zac Hilditch’s apocalyptic film ‘These final hours’ before its Australian cinematic release. This is our review of the film, but – as usual – no matter what we say, we recommend that you still go to your local cinema and see the film because there is no better critic than yourself!
During the last day on Earth, right after a cataclysm that will end life as we know it, a scared man named James (Nathan Phillips) decides to spend his final hours attending the biggest party ever, in order to pass out courtesy of a mix of drugs and booze – even if that means leaving his loved ones behind in a selfish way, including his lover Zoe (Jessica De Gouw) who is expecting his child.
On his way to the party, James witnesses how horrific mankind could be, as groups of people have started to kill each other and cause destruction all around. However, James’ path suddenly changes when he rescues Rose (Angourie Rice), a young little girl who got separated from his father. Suddenly James makes a life-changing decision by helping the young girl to reunite with her father, leaving all his selfishness behind and finding redemption during his final moments on Earth.
With an entire cast full of proud Aussies, director Zac Hilditch has taken the risk of exploring an uncommon genre for Australian films, and the result he has delivered is a strong and touching film with the potential to become a new Australian blockbuster classic. ‘These final hours’ contains drama, tension, violence, world-class special effects and a radical plot twist that will leave viewers stuck to the edge of their seats, and maybe even tearing it up a little bit.
Performance wise, lead actor Nathan Phillips (Wolf Creek) carries the weight of the film in a good way. However, young Angourie Rice is the one who steals the spotlight here, as she builds a relationship with Phillips’ character that will touch your heart. Gamers might compare their connection with the characters from ‘The Last of Us’ video game. In addition, the gorgeous and talented Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) is a perfect complement to Phillips, and although she may not have much screentime she still gets to shine in some key scenes.
The Special effects, the art direction and cinematography are all up there with those of the most top notch Hollywood productions. However, the small flaws of the film pop up during the party scenes, where we encounter several characters that feel forced into the story, such as Sarah Snook’s crazy lady. The character of James’ mate and brother-in-law Freddy is meant to be serious but ends up being used as unnecessary comedy relief.
Overall, ‘These final hours’ is a strong and proud very well-made Aussie film, that may surprises its audience which could have been misled by a trailer that didn’t do any justice to the final product. This film delivers a serious apocalyptic story, free of unnecessary jokes, full of heart and with a young lead actress with a very promising career in front of her.
‘These final hours’ opens in cinemas July 31, 2014