End of world just beginning
THESE FINAL HOURS ( MA15+)
Director: Zak Hilditch ( feature debut) Starring: Nathan Phillips, Jessica De Gouw, Daniel Henshall, Angourie Rice.
ABRAVE, brash apocalyptic drama that achieves an instant impact, and also leaves a lasting mark. The fi lm’s dual ambitions – to keep moving, and keep its audience moved – are fully realised. These Final Hours is by no means perfect, but it won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
We need more Australian fi lms like this. Right now.
The world is about to end. A radioactive tsunami is sweeping the globe, west to east. The Americas and Europe are already in ashes. Asia is just beginning to fry.
Australia is scheduled for its nuclear holocaust in a matter of hours.
If the outer suburbs of Perth are any indication, we as a nation have not taken the news well. Law and order have been abandoned. It is every man, woman and child for themselves.
Those who are not trying to kill each other are more than likely to be attempting to kill themselves.
Others are looking for one last vestige of peace, closure, pleasure, or all of the above.
James ( Nathan Phillips) is your typical young Australian bloke. Not a deep thinker. Has carried on as if he’s here for a good time, not a long time. Probably the best way to have gone about it, in hindsight.
But even now, with time rapidly running out, James has to make some fi nal choices that must be lived with, and indeed died with.
Should he help that lost young child looking for her parents? Which family, friends and lovers should he be saying farewell to?
Will it be better to get high as a kite at the end, or stay stone cold sober?
Should he draw his last breath in the company of someone he knows, or face the big bang on his own?
Watching how James deals with each quandary coming at him – and wondering how we might respond in the same situation – allows These Final Hours to become something more than a bleak, numbing prospect for viewers. Young writer- director Zak Hilditch has many diffi cult variables to negotiate to keep his movie both believable, and always barreling forward towards its inevitable conclusion.
Though there is more than the odd stumble along the way, the intense atmosphere conjured by Hilditch – and its scrupulously balanced blending of danger, despair, defi ance and death – remains powerful and arrestingly ominous throughout.
Now showing Village Cinemas