By Don Simpson | March 5, 2015
Director: Zak Hilditch
Writer: Zak Hilditch
Starring: Nathan Phillips, Jessica De Gouw, Sarah Snook, Daniel Henshall, David Field, Angourie Rice, Kathryn Beck, Zaydah-lee, Lynette Curran
As Australia counts down to the rapidly approaching cataclysmic annihilation of Earth, James (Nathan Phillips) makes it his final mission in life to meet up with his girlfriend, Vicky (Kathryn Beck), at an end of the world party; thus leaving the woman he has been shagging on the side, Zoe (Jessica de Gouw), pregnant and alone. In order to reach his destination, he must traverse a series of roads ravaged by apocalyptic anarchism; as an all-encompassing ball of fire envelops the planet, the human race has devolved into a primitive and immoral species fixated on sex, drugs and violence during their final hours. (Sort of like The Purge, but with no day after.) This is certainly not a world fit for children; nonetheless, James fatefully ends up spending most of his journey with a young girl named Rose (Angourie Rice).
Drenched in the overpowering sunlight of the southern hemisphere, Zak Hilditch’s These Final Hours tracks how James’ priorities shift as Rose forces him to reevaluate how he wants to spend his final moments and with whom he wants to spend that time. Caligula might have felt right at home at the “humans gone wild” end of the world extravaganza, but James is woefully out of place. While everyone else seems to be going out with a [proverbial or literal] bang, James wants something more; as if James has possibly transcended the utter depravity of the human race in his final hours.
Other than Rose’s unadulterated innocence and James’ eventual redemption, These Final Hours adopts an overwhelmingly sardonic tone, suggesting that when faced with extinction, humans are more likely to resort to neanderthalic mayhem rather than melancholia. Though a jaded pill to swallow, the overtly harsh portrayal could very well be prognostic. Only time will tell…