The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour


Reviewed by: Donald Munro

So what is The Darkest Hour? It's like a zombie apocalypse movie without the zombies. You have the last survivors in the aftermath but without any expensive extras shambling around in time consuming make up. Its a bit like V in that aliens have come down to steal Earth's resources and humans have to fight back, but it doesn't have the political allegory or any pretence at acting by the cast. Mostly it's some histrionics and cheap special effects riped off from five year old computer games.

Two social phone App designers Ben, (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch), fly to Moscow to clinch a deal for their bar-finding App. They behave like dicks towards the air hostess and display a generally disrespectful attitude towards women. They are ripped off by Skyler (Joel Kinnaman), a Swedish businessman. Kinnaman is the only actor who seems interested in acting. They use their App to find a "cool" bar. They go to this place that looks like what your boss would choose for a works night out and pick up two women who don't like the attention of Russian men, Anne (Rachael Taylor) and Natalie (Olivia Thirlby). Just before aliens attack, Skyler turns up at the bar, making five English speaking people in Moscow.

Copy picture

Here is where the mess of cheep special effects starts. Aliens descend from the heavens looking like glowing spidery screen savers (the screen saver in question is called Flurry). When they hit the ground they turn into the anomalies from S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. They kill with some sort of electrical attack that turns people to dust. It looks just like the way vampires die in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The whole world is blacked out and mobile phones stop working. Everyone dies, apart from the five English speaking characters of course. Getting rid of all the extras means that one of them won't accidentally upstage one of the main cast.

From this point on nothing makes much sense; not the dialogue, not the plot and not the attempts at scientific explanations of events. I'm surprised that there wasn't a tech on set who could have told people how electricity works or why light bulbs break when you throw them on concrete. The five, soon to be four, shriek and rush around pointlessly, find a few survivors who stick metal to themselves and babble about Faraday cages, battle aliens and try to find a submarine to them back to America.

If you do go and see this film remember it is in 3D so you can make it better by taking off the glasses. Or by closing your eyes.

Reviewed on: 13 Jan 2012
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Five English speakers in Moscow try to survive an alien invasion.
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Director: Chris Gorak

Writer: Jon Spaihts, Leslie Bohem

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman

Year: 2011

Runtime: 89 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US, Russia


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