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STUDIO Pantelion Films
RUNNING TIME 97 minutes
• “All I Feel Is You” music video that includes scenes from the movie.
• Reach Out Worldwide commercial about the charity Walker started to help in post-disaster situations.
Paul Walker, a robot baby, Hurricane Katrina. All wrapped up in one movie that’s intended to be a sentimental tear jerker.
Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriquez
In one of his last movies, Paul Walker faces exceptional challenges as a new dad during Hurricane Katrina.
Hours, one of the last movies Paul Walker worked on, takes place in New Orleans in 2005, during and after Hurricane Katrina. The drama takes place over 46 hours without power, while Walker stays in a fictional hospital with his premature baby.
I’ve never watched any movies with Walker in them, so I’m not sure if his overly dramatic acting is a poorly written role or how he always acts. There are lots of exaggerated eye rolls, he regularly sticks out his lower lip to signify his anger and his pleas to others seem forced and out of place in an overly emotional way that’s uncomfortable.
I did give birth 7 weeks early and spent 4 weeks in the NICU with my premature baby, though. So I do have lots of opinions on the plot of this movie. First of all, if you want people to feel sympathetic about this vulnerable preemie, don’t use a robot baby. And if you have to use a plastic doll, don’t keep showing it. I didn’t feel sorry at all for the baby — I just laughed at it.
If you can overlook the robot baby, there are lots of other plot points that are hard to overlook in order to lose yourself in the story. Walker isn’t allowed in the operating room when his daughter is born. I’ve talked to lots of families about their preemie birth experience, and I haven’t heard any stories where the father wasn’t allowed to be present at the baby’s birth — even if there’s an emergency C-section. Then the pediatrician —or Ob/Gyn? for some reason the same person is responsible for the baby’s birth and baby’s care — tells Walker that the best day will be when the baby cries. But the baby is only born 5 weeks early. A baby born 5 weeks early should cry. No medical reason is given as to why this wouldn’t be happening. There are other medical problems that aren’t explained and seem too extreme for a baby that’s only born 5 weeks early: she’s being fed intravenously instead of a getting milk/formula through a gavage tube in her nose, she’s in an isolette because she can’t stay warm and she’s on a ventilator instead of breathing on her own.
So if you don’t care about those details, let’s continue on to the rest of the story.
Walker and his wife enter the hospital while a big storm is brewing outside. Eventually, this becomes Hurricane Katrina and the hospital staff is evacuated because they’re short on staff and the hospital is becoming crowded. After this, the electricity goes out, then the generator, and the hospital floods when the levee breaks. But somehow Walker is left alone in the hospital with one nurse and no other patients. I know the evacuation of Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans was surrounded in controversy, but I don’t believe hospital staff left without patients. As to how Memorial Medical Center did take care of patients… that’s a topic I can’t tackle in this review.
It seems like Hours was inspired by the formula of a Hallmark Original Movie. There are many corny moments woven throughout, such as soft music playing while Walker learns how to change the baby’s diaper. He also tells his baby stories through mementoes he has in his wallet. Walker is much more sentimental than I am — I only have receipts and credit cards in his wallet. In one uncomfortable scene, Walker reminisces about having the day the baby was conceived. I don’t plan on reminiscing about this day with my child… but maybe most parents do…
Throughout the movie, Walker encounters a series of problems he has to overcome on his own since he’s alone with the baby. After the power goes out in the hospital, he has to figure out how to keep his baby’s isolette running since the battery won’t hold a charge. Looters steal his food and he faces off with other looters who are looking for drugs. Eventually everything turns out for the best and there’s a signature sentimental moment between father and daughter. And this time, it’s not a robot baby.
If you want to relive the movie you just watched, the music video includes scenes from the movie, intercut with scenes of a woman walking through an empty house in the dark. And the woman singing the song? Natalia Safran. The wife of Peter Safran, whose company produced the movie. What an unusual coincidence.
There’s also a commercial for Reach Out Worldwide. This is a charity Paul Walker started after helping in Haiti in 2010 after the earthquakes. He wanted to provide help in post-disaster situations. After watching the commercial, I thought, “Really, universe? This is the type of person you want to kill off? Someone who does work like this? Great job.” But maybe you aren’t as pessimistic as me.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars