Hours (2013) – Review

3 Stars

He paces anxiously back and forth in the waiting room. Outside the torrential rains from Hurricane Katrina beat on the building, threatening to break through the Hospital’s windows. Soon a doctor appears to inform Alex (Paul Walker) that his wife has passed away during childbirth. His newborn daughter is weeks premature and being kept alive in an incubator, with assistance to her breathing. The infants precious life hangs in the balance until she cries for the first time, a clear sign her lungs and respiratory system are functioning. Before long the storm has caused an emergency evacuation of all hospital employees, leaving Alex behind to care for his vulnerable offspring.

Eventually, the building’s electrical functions fail and the only power is generated from a hand cranked battery. The child’s incubator wont run for more than 3 minutes without needing to be recharged. It’s a harrowing ordeal, Alex is forced to do all he can in keeping the machines going for 48 hours. Forced to deal with looters, no food, and little chance of rescue, Alex faces an uphill battle to keep his newborn daughter alive.

Hours is told in the mold of dramatic thrillers inspired by real life tragedies. It also shares a bit with Cast Away, All is Lost, and I am Legend. This is a one man show for most of the movie, and star Paul Walker does a fine job holding our attention through the extraneous affair. This a quietly powerful film that is rich with moments of tension and anxiety, intercut with four scenes that fill in the backstory of Alex and his late wife Abigail (Genesis Rodriguez). These moments give Walker a chance to pause and deliver some monologues that suggest the depth of an actor we usually took at face value.

Director: Eric Heisserer
Stars: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez, Nick Gomez

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