EARTHS FINAL HOURS
Earth's Final Hours starts well. It gives the impression that the scriptwriters have done some scientific reading not much, but a little does make a difference. The big problem is the central premise of the Earth stopping rotating in actuality, the first immediately foreseeable thing that would happen would be exactly what would happen when an object travelling at about 1000 mph (the rough estimation of the speed of Earths rotation at the equator) abruptly slams on its brakes everything not solidly nailed down would go flying off the face of the Earth. You also wonder how a micro-sized black hole, which would emit a massive gravity and radiation signature, would not be detected by astronomers before it arrived. The scriptwriters for some reason also see the Van Allen Belt as being the cause of the Earths rotation, when in fact it is no more than a field of charged energy particles. However, the film does create one fascinating science-fictional idea that of the Earth caught in a perpetual non-rotating orbit with one side facing the sun being cooked with no UV protection and the other in perpetual darkness and frozen, with there only being a small habitable Green Zone around the new equator that immediately becomes sought after by all parties. The idea is scientifically nonsensical but the notion in itself is good science-fiction.
Unfortunately, while the first half of Earth's Final Hours sets up this fascinating premise, it fails to ever depict any of this it is only ever seen in terms of a potential apocalyptic scenario that the heroes are fighting to prevent. The second half of the film descends into the far less interesting cliche stuff of pursuit by the authorities, car chases, shootouts, cover-ups, a plot to save the world with an improbable device and a crucial countdown to activate it in the crucial seconds to disaster as the world collapses around them. (The premise of having to restart the Earths rotation makes Earth's Final Hours resemble the ridiculous The Core (2003), which featured a very similar plot). One of the more bizarrely amusing touches is the way the waves of energy particles have the convenient deus ex machina effect of always managing to turn up and disintegrate bad guys just when they have the heroes cornered in a shootout.
Robert Knepper gets a rare role as a hero rather than a villain or tightass government agent. Cameron Bright, who had a reasonable career as a child actor in films like Birth (2004), Godsend (2004) and Ultraviolet (2006), has grown up into a teenager and plays with a likeably anti-authoritarian cockiness.
Director W.D. Hogan was previously a storyboard artist on a number of other high-profile films. Hogan has also made Behemoth (2011), Independence Daysaster (2013) and Zodiac: Signs of the Apocalypse (2014) for the Syfy Channel.