All in all, it's quite an average, forgettable, and ultimately disposable movie, with nothing particularly good or bad about it.
Saw this on 18/2/16
Though it could have been better had it been provided with some more pacing and a more experienced director at the helm, after a jerky start in all aspects, Paul Walker's performance makes the film watchable and at times admirable. Genesis Rodriguez also gets to play something better than what she always gets. The film doesn't offer anything that we haven't seen yet though.
Over the years, Paul Walker had shown a lot of growth in his acting. But I feel like the larger than life Fast and Furious persona kept people from seeing his true potential. I love seeing actors break out of their typical roles and do something challenging and different, and that's exactly what he did with this film. As far as I'm concerned this was the performance of his career, and really shows just how good he can be. The situations he's put through in this role are very intense and emotional, and I felt like he nailed every nuance. His performance made me truly care about what happened to his character, and his newborn daughter. Making that character-to-audience connection can be especially difficult, but when an actor/director can achieve that, it is truly special and can make a film go from just enjoyable to truly moving.
Using a real life major disaster like Hurricane Katrina can be hit or miss. But Eric Heisserer does an excellent job of giving you just enough of the storm to essentially make it a supporting character, and it just adds to the depth and intensity of the scenes. Katrina was one of the largest and most devastating natural disasters of our time, and the film gives viewers a first hand account of what it was like to be stuck right smack in the middle of it. I also felt like the realism was there. I pictured myself being in that same situation and doing many of the exact same things exactly as Paul did them. As a father myself I identified with his character very naturally, and at times I really felt like I was right there in the hospital experiencing it with him.
The pace of the movie I felt was absolutely perfect as well. There was a great mix of drama, emotion, and intensity. Just when I'd think things were slowing down to the point where it could possibly start to get stagnant, something else would happen, which kept my attention and interest constant and focused.
Overall, I feel like this film should have received more attention than it did. But it's no surprise with the way Hollywood is cranking them out nowadays. Hopefully this review convinces a few more people to check it out. You won't be disappointed.