Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Darkest Hour (2011)

Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) travel to Moscow for a business meeting. They’re trying to sell their social
networking software to a group of Russian investors, but they quickly learn the cutthroat nature of the business world, because their software is stolen by the same group of people, who they originally wanted to sell to. Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) shows no remorse, when he steals the social networking software. Skyler doesn’t want to share the profits with the creators (Sean and Ben), and the trip to Russia seems like a complete waste of time. Sean and Ben are distraught, so they decide to go to a club to pick up their spirits. They meet two women, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachel Taylor), and everything seems perfectly calm at first. Sean and Ben are enjoying the company of Natalie and Anne, but everything quickly takes a turn for the worst. An alien invasion begins to spread terror and destruction throughout Russia and the rest of the world, and the group of survivors (Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne, and Skyler) must fight for their lives.

I really wanted to like this one, and I usually enjoy alien invasion flicks, but The Darkest Hour was one gigantic disappointment for me. This was supposed to be a sci-fi thriller, but The Darkest Hour can be so boring and dull most of the time. The action scenes really didn’t do anything for me, and character development is tossed out of the window in this film, because you really don’t get a chance to know any of the characters here. Sure, we do learn a few details about the friendship between Sean and Ben, but still, they really don’t give an in-depth explanation about the survivors here, and I just didn’t want to care about the shallow characters in this film. Also, the reveal of the aliens’ identity towards the end of the film felt so underwhelming. Throughout this film, the audience sees the alien attackers as these glowing orange force fields of light, but they FINALLY reveal the true physical form of the deadly attackers at the very end. I was expecting something terrifying, because these aliens reeked havoc throughout the entire film, and they destroyed everything in their path. But I just couldn’t stop laughing, when I finally saw the true physical form of the aliens here. They didn’t look intimidating or scary, and the awful and cheap CGI effects didn’t help anything.

The Darkest Hour could’ve worked as a mindless and fun popcorn flick, but they really dropped the ball here. Yeah, the acting is decent enough, the alien kills do look shocking and violent most of the time, and I did enjoy the atmosphere of the post-apocalyptic Russia, because you can really feel the devastation and danger, but the decent acting and images of a post-apocalyptic Russia couldn’t save this one. The Darkest Hour is a dull and lifeless film, that doesn’t feature any real thrills or action. This film just painfully goes through the motions, and they really didn’t put too much focus on character development here, because this film just features so many uninteresting personalities. The special effects looked cheap and atrocious, they were laughable most of the time, and for a film that relies so heavily on CGI, this can be a real problem. The Darkest Hour was a painful experience for me, and I was waiting for this one to be over. Emile Hirsch does have some potential for a bright career in Hollywood, but he needs a rebound film, and he needs one fast, because The Darkest Hour is a potential career killer.

Final Score: 2/10

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