The Darkest Hour (2011)

The Darkest Hour
Director: Chris Gorak
Writer: Jon Spaihts
Cast: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Ozerova

Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) come to Russia to introduce their exciting new software. But as soon as they land, things start to go wrong, their software gets stolen by the arrogant Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) and they realize that they came to Russia for nothing at all. So they head to a bar, where they meet the tourists Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor). But before the night is over, a strange rain of light starts to hit Moscow and they quickly  discover that that is only the beginning of the alien invasion and their fight for survival.

The levels of stupid people manage to cram into one film continue to astound me – and The Darkest Hour really is the new high on that count. Unfortunately, it is not very entertaining with it.

[I hate-hate-hate those “cyrillic” movie posters. You know what it says there, if you translate the cyrillic to the roman alphabet? DDYAKEST. Bloody hell. Though admittedly, it is a fair representation of the film.]

The movie not only reaches new heights with its stupidity, but also with the sheer amount of technobabble it uses. I swear, half of the film’s dialogue was, “electromagnetic mumblemumble, faraday cage blahblahblah, electricity, invisibility, whatever.” [The other half of the dialogues were desperate attempts at jokes.]

And after trying to be all scientific they go ahead and use turned off cell phones as early warning devices?! Quick survey: who of you guys has a cell phone that starts ringing when it is turned on? That is, in fact, turned on by coming in touch with electricity? No one? Yeah, thought so.

Admittedly, a few times I headdesked pre-emptively for what I thought was going to happen next (for example when Natalie takes off her early warning light bulb to try on a sweater, I was sure that it would put her life at risk because she’ll miss the big bad alien creeping up since women can just never stay away from fashion) but they neatly sidestepped most of those moments, making the script better than it appeared at first.

That was not enough though. Not even Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Olivia Thirlby – three young and very promising actors – were enough. In fact, I don’t think I ever saw Emile Hirsch not act as insistently as in this film.

At least the special effects were quite good.

Summarising: pretty forgettable with a couple of nice images (90% of which you already get to see in the trailer).

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