These Final Hours

The end of the world wants a prime time market

S o, Australia, why all the apocalypse films? I think it’s time we discussed this. Seems like whenever you’re not filming the end of the world as we know it, you’re happily indulging post-fallout Mad Max anarchy. It’s time we talked about this. This isn’t just about your deadly fauna, is it? Sure, even the most docile of your continental denizens somehow morphs into a “drop bear” in a pinch. But this isn’t about killer koalas and lethal lizards, it is? Please. It’s ok. You can tell me. The FrogBlog is safe place, mate. Did some one hurt you, Australia? That’s it, isn’t it? Was it Uncle Europe? Did he touch you? Tell you what, I’ll hold up a map of your continent and you can just point to the area where they touched you. Does that sound ok? It’s important to get these things out in the open before we get to Mad Max XVII: He’s Really, Really, Really Mad.

Well, Sheilas and Bruces, the end is nigh, but (as usual) it’s tape-delayed for the Southern hemisphere. North America bought it hours ago. Finally, Australia can be grateful for being an afterthought. Better late than never?  I kinda wish the film showed the fatal asteroid collision. I mean, there’s no way you wouldn’t feel it, right? A moon-sized rock colliding with Greenland had to wake up the whole planet, right? I want to see the part where everybody in New Zealand collectively says, “What was that?” No matter, suffice to say the massive inferno scouring the globe will find you eventually. My question, as usual, is, “Do you actually want to live in a post-apolcalyptic world?”

Today’s film chose an odd hero to follow These Final Hours. James (Nathan Phillips) reacts to his girlfriend’s pregnancy with astonished incredulity. The drug-abused drifter finds nothing more pointless than knowing he’d be a father if the planet had more than a twelve-hour self life. And so in an act of ill-timed selfishness, he skips out on the woman in search of his best mate’s end-of-the-world orgy. Aw, but doncha just hate it when life gives you a shot at redemption? In escaping a car-jacker, James encounters a pair of slimeballs who have decided their bucket list includes the torture-rape of a ten-year-old girl, Rose (Angourie Rice). I must preface this by saying I have to do a fair amount of mental gymnastics to come up with the legitimate unstated reason Rose’s parents still live and aren’t pursuing these two assholes themselves. Suffice to say we will pretend their actions were heroic but futile and it is now up to James alone to save Rose.

This redemption is the crux of These Final Hours. Can James, the selfish, drug-addicted drifter, locate his backbone, save Rose, eschew hedonism, find a higher purpose, and stuff a lifetime’s worth of parenting into to six-to-eight hours before Perth meets the same fate as the rest of us? Well, it wouldn’t be worth watching if he didn’t try, now would it?

These Final Hours do not arrive without tears, and lots of them. In fact, the middle film ran the entire gamut of human emotion once James finds the party –What would you imagine in an end-of-the-world party? Yeah, it’s there—and then James finds his mother. Mostly, this film plays like less polished version of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. I imagine such thought can be interpreted either way: do you want your apocalypse to reflect humanity amongst insanity or redemption amongst hedonism? Either way, we’re screwed, but it does make a difference how you feel about it.

Now, Australia, tell me about your mother …

An asteroid has taken its toll
And let Earth out of control
Humanity’s the cost
Yet with all that’s lost
It’s not too late to locate your soul

Rated R, 86 Minutes
D: Zak Hilditch
W: Zak Hilditch
Genre: Our screwed future
Type of person most likely to enjoy this film: People who need resolution
Type of person least likely to enjoy this film: Pollyannas

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