“This is how the world ends not with a bang but with a whimper” Or so TS. Elliot would have us believe. But “These Final Hours” is more than happy to present an alternative viewpoint on the matter “This is how the world ends, not with a bang but with mountains of cocaine and booze”
Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue in the same way…
Coming to us from Australia and directed and written by Zak Hilldtich this apocalyptic thriller asks the question if the world was going to end within a twelve-hour lifespan, how would you spend those last few hours? Surrounded by families and friends? Would you cut the waiting and end it all well in advance? Would you run down the street punching everyone and everything in sight singing at the top of your lungs waving a gun in the air? Or would you just say “Sod it” and just have a massive party until you’re so out of it, you don’t even remember your own name, let alone the fact that everything you love is burning all around you? In short this movie attempts to gauge what exactly happens when man is confronted with the cold hard reality of their own mortality and how we choose to deal with it.
Some kind of horrible cataclysmic event has struck the earth, even though we’re never told exactly what had happened. It’s assumed that a giant meteor has struck the earth and the shockwaves of it will wipe out Australia in just a matter of hours. James (Nathan Phillips) naturally finds the idea of his impending death to be rather distressing so he intends on spending his last moments on earth drunk and high as a kite at a big party, even though this means abandoning his girlfriend in the process.
On the way to this party he runs into Rose (Angourie Rice) a child who he saves from a group of end times bandits and his conscience compels him to reunite her with her family.
The obvious question would be to ask about this movie is “…Why?” The very concept of this movie is that nothing really matters. That’s essentially what the end of the world is. The end of any and all possible consequences, it’s the reason why 90% of the characters in this movie are more than happy to let themselves regress into an animalistic mentality because nothing matters anymore. Good people. Bad People. Guilty or innocent. All of them aren’t going to be around to see the next day. The end of days is non-negotiable. Accountability is no longer a factor. So why the act of pointless nobility?
You could argue that the belief in an afterlife or a God would be reason enough and hours seems to flirt with the concept of spirituality a few times during the movie but it’s not a theme that’s explored too heavily. So it’s somewhat hard to get invested in a movie that makes it clear that hope is dead and buried right from the outset.
That being said, the movie is nothing if not beautifully shot, capturing the abject despair and general barbarism that impending extinction is sure to bring. From hanging bodies to a crowd of drunk men happily engaging in Russian roulette. This movie seems to delight in trying to pull at your heartstrings with each and every scene.
Be it a story about a man’s quest to do the right thing at the last possible moment, true that this story has been told before in more interesting and creative ways, this movie will certainly stay with you for quite some time after watching it