The film tells the story of Nolan Hayes (Walker), who arrives at a New Orleans hospital with his pregnant wife, Abigail (Rodriguez).
She has gone into early labour and despite the doctor’s best efforts, she dies during childbirth. Shortly afterwards, the hospital is hit by the hurricane and all the patients are evacuated immediately.
Nolan is left standing next to his baby daughter, who is hooked up to an incubator that allows her to breathe as he awaits a transfer to safety.
With water rising and power outages across the city, the building is deserted and with no power, the ventilator is not working. Time is off the essence
Nolan finds a small generator, which he has to keep cranking every two or three minutes to keep his baby breathing.
A few minutes wait soon turns into hours. Fighting to keep his daughter alive, Walker occupies the screen for most of the movie. And as times passes by second by second, he never loses the audiences’ attention.
With this film including some of Walker’s last moments on screen, disassociating between actor and character is almost impossible.
As he deals with the tragic death of his wife and the possibility of now losing his daughter as well, the audience is aware that those close to the actor felt the same loss. Perhaps because of this phenomenon, this comes across as one of Walker’s best performances.
Here, the macho man Walker often played elsewhere is now desperate and in despair.
He is fighting for his life. There is nothing but the sound of the ventilator and troubled silence.
It’s an honest and commendable farewell performance from a popular star.