"A Father’s Heroic Sacrifice"
What You Need To Know:
Now on DVD, HOURS is a powerful showcase for the little-used acting talents of Paul Walker, the action hero (and Christian) who based his career on the FAST & FURIOUS movies. Walker indeed delivers an impressive performance, but the limitations of the movie’s low budget means the action sequences suffer. Too much of the movie feels redundant. Nonetheless, HOURS offers a positive portrait for mature viewers of a father who will do anything ethical to save his newborn daughter.
(BB, C, LL, VV, S, M) Strong moral worldview with some brief Christian, redemptive elements including heroic father is shown silently praying; 11 to 14 obscenities and profanities (including the start of an “f” word that’s not finished); strong but brief violence includes two or three short fistfights between the father and thugs trying to rob him of his survival supplies, heroic father has to shoot one man dead in self-defense, and people shoot guns at a police helicopter trying to save protagonist, forcing it to fly away without him; implied sex between man and his wife in flashback; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, looting and thievery by others, and heroic father has to take medical supplies to save his daughter when hospital is abandoned.
HOURS is the story of a father desperately trying to keep his premature infant daughter alive until help can arrive in the aftermath of a post-Hurricane Katrina power outage. A very limited release now on DVD, HOURS has a strong moral worldview with brief Christian elements as the father’s shown praying silently a couple times.
HOURS stars the late Paul Walker (FAST & FURIOUS 6) as Nolan Hayes, a regular-Joe happily heading into the hospital as his wife is giving birth. Hurricane Katrina is bearing down on his city of New Orleans. Amid the havoc, the childbirth goes poorly and Nolan’s wife dies. Since his baby is premature, it can’t leave its special chamber, so Nolan has to wait for authorities to arrive and save them after the hospital is evacuated. With the power out, he has to hand-crank the generator powering his baby’s oxygen supply, with the time between each needed crank dwindling every few hours, from three minutes between cranks to 90 seconds. Meanwhile, Nolan has to scavenge for food and medicine while fending off looters and other problems throughout a nearly 48-hour ordeal.
HOURS is a powerful showcase for the little-used acting talents of Paul Walker, the action hero (and Christian) who based his career on his starring roles in five FAST & FURIOUS action movies. This movie was a low-budget passion project for him, as he was trying to show he could do quality acting beyond the usual limitations of the action genre.
Walker indeed delivers an impressive performance, but the limitations of the movie’s low $4 million budget means the action sequences suffer. Too much of the movie feels redundant, as he is forced to run repeatedly back to his daughter’s room and hand-crank the generator again. Nonetheless, the movie offers a positive portrait of a father who will do anything ethical to save his daughter. Also, some flashbacks depict a happily married family man.
Overall, HOURS is a noble but flawed attempt to provide viewers with a thriller that has emotional resonance. For Walker fans, and there are many of them, it is, however, an impressive showcase of his underappreciated acting skills. For everyone else, it’s a merely passable effort, one meant for teenagers and adults rather than pre-adolescents.