Coming after the sudden and tragic demise of action thespian, Paul Walker is a smaller and far more intimate tale of survival against the backdrop of hurricane Katrina. Nolan Hayes (Walker) is a father stuck in an abandoned hospital with his prematurely born baby when the natural calamity strikes rendering much of the city a desolate den of bedlam. The baby cannot breathe on its own and needs to remain in an artificial simulator for the same. However with the power gone, there is nothing to keep the contraption running other than a small generator that needs to be recharged physically every few minutes, leading to a plot device that has Nolan drop everything he’s doing to keep running back and crank the lever to keep the baby alive. With food running out, armed looters on the prowl and no help coming from the authorities, visions of his now dead wife and a strong desire to keep his progeny alive through this hell keep Nolan going.
It’s quite a departure from Walker’s usual gallery of action movies and there’s barely a car in sight, and the actor does try to give it his all in a performance that valiantly attempts to register much sympathy in the audience from his plight. To a certain degree he succeeds and in no small effort thanks to director, Eric Heisserer who at least for much of the movie’s short running length provides enough moments of tension to keep us hooked in. However in the last twenty minutes or so, things start to go flat and end with a climax that desperately tries to raise the stakes but falls flat.
‘Hours’ has its moments and it along with ‘Running Scared’ will rank as one of Walker’s better performances to compliment his Fast and Furious franchise. The movie’s tense setting coupled with some tender moments between the actors wins over its shortcomings in a weak climax and some poor acting by secondary actors. Worth a onetime watch.