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We review These Final Hours.
In season four of the podcast, we get right down to the nitty gritty. With no time to spare and on the run from the authorities, it’s our mission to awaken your minds with some vintage sci-fi from the forbidden media of the 21st Century.
These Final Hours is an Australian film which was on general release in the old earth year of 2013 and later released in the Ancient Kingdom of Britain in 2016. Even though back then they had the beginnings of a global communications system, due to different planetary factions that were largely based on religious ideology, land ownership that was simply due to murder, death, kill, skin pigmentation and smattering of what they then called luck, bureaucracy meant that some countries got entertainment packs earlier than others. It was an arbitrary and inefficient system until someone finally realised that once it was released, it was released globally anyway.
We all know how that turned out and that’s how we ended up with the stunted civilisation we have now. Anyway, I digress and to whet your appetite in the hope of provoking some thought in your little craniums I’ll continue.
The premise of this entertainment pack is simple, it’s the End Of The World (again). An extinction level event has been announced in the form of a meteorite hitting America which was a former world power. Many other countries have succumbed to the effects of the meteorite and the rolling ball of fire is making its way to the legendary city of Perth in the heroic country of Australia. Given the distances, it’s a matter of hours before the entire globe is enveloped in the firestorm so there is the opportunity for some to do what they have always said they’ll do if this sort of thing ever happened.
So what would you do? If the end of the world was coming and you had a few hours to spare, bearing in mind civilisation would be tearing itself apart what would be your life choice?
Nathan Phillips plays the part of James. He’s a self-obsessed young man intent only on enjoying himself. Small wonder then our first sight of him is having sex with a woman he’s essentially using. This, we learn, is Zoe played by Jessica De Gouw. We then learn he’s decided to go to a party to end all parties instead of being with Zoe, leaving her to be by herself and ultimately, to die by herself while he satisfies his own selfish needs.
As the story progresses, we come across a young girl who is kidnapped and imprisoned by two men. Clearly, with no law and order to speak of they’re going to look after their own selfish needs and the young girl, Rose, played by Angourie Rice is in unspeakable danger.
James wrestles with his conscience and that alone should tell you something about where he is at on the good/evil spectrum. Eventually, he makes a decision and what follows is a harrowing journey, both through parts of Australia as well as the landscape of James’s psyche as he goes through his own transformation and finally understands who he is and what it means to be human.
This film was one of those that you can easily scroll past when choosing mind numbing entertainment to pass the time until you die. I’m very glad I chose this film to watch as it reminds you in a non-patronising way what it is to be human and absolutely lays bare what some people can be like, despite the fact this is, after all, just entertainment.
There are no massively overstated special effects in this film except an ominous firestorm effect at the end. The production values simply lend themselves well to the story. There is great direction and a well-written story by Zak Hilditch, great acting both from Nathan Philips as James and it has to be said, Angourie Rices performance as an eleven-year-old is as startling as it is sublime. She also starred in Zak’s previous film from 2012 on a similar vein called Transmission.
Watch These Final Hours and awaken your humanity.
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