Metaphors flow like water through a busted levee in this race-against-the-clock thriller set amid the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina. The film also arrives within striking distance of the sudden death of star Paul Walker. While the storm pounds New Orleans, the world of Nolan (Walker) is already being upended, as his wife (Genesis Rodriguez) dies during childbirth. His newborn daughter is confined to a ventilator, which Nolan must repeatedly recharge once the power fails and everyone flees the hospital.
With her life hanging in the balance, the infant’s role as a proxy for Katrina’s ailing survivors is obvious yet novel, as is the movie’s crash course in fatherhood. Still, there’s something vexing about the use of a baby as narrative device, and the movie leans too heavily on her inborn potential for heart-tuggery. And though Walker, in his most demanding part, does his best to transcend his characteristically bro-ish demeanor, he’s ultimately failed by this film, whose script and questionable taste hardly add up to a eulogy-worthy goodbye.
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