For a variety of reasons (mainly the 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), I had low expectations for this science fiction yarn, and even lower expectations for its CGI effects. As it turns out, the film was slightly better than I expected, while the effects were even worse. This is not to say that the movie is good (ha!), but when you expect a crap-fest (a la “Skyline) and you find yourself enjoying some of its silliest moments, it’s hard for me to call it a complete disaster. The plot is pretty familiar and straightforward: two American software designers (Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella) and two female tourists (Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor) hook up in a nightclub in Moscow,only to find themselves caught up in an alien invasion of Earth. They’re far far away from home, they don’t speak Russian, and the aliens are invisible (hence the lame CGIs). I think in a way, it was refreshing to see someplace besides New York and L.A getting the alien invasion treatment. Which is why it’s frustrating that “The Darkest Hour” doesn’t rise above the usual. With the premise and the location, it could have been something big. Too bad it gets cheesier and cheesier as we move along, until it reaches the inevitable conclusion (I saw it coming miles away). The dialogue (courtesy of John Spaints, who also worked on Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”) is laughable. Allow me to emphasize with a few examples: “Team work makes the dream work”, “They came here with a plan” (duh!) and my personal favorite “Let me put down the only effective weapon to attend to a lady in distress” (who talks like that?). I could go on, but do i really have to? “The Darkest Hour” is strictly a B movie that will probably hit cable TV before you can say Emile Hirsh (who was terrific in “Into The Wild” by the way). It’s a mess. Hell it’s a huge mess. But the pace of the film and the locations make it a somewhat fun, but ultimately forgettable experience. And remember: Team work makes the dream work!
Categories: The Twenty-First Century