December 26, 2011
Review - " The Darkest Hour " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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The Darkest Hour
Directed by: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch , Olivia Thirlby , Max Minghella , Rachael Taylor ,
The Darkest Hour is a science fiction filmed with real 3D cameras, its
special effects are truly amazing and I really recommend this film is
seen in 3D, as long as you like the script and the storyline, which lack
substance. This USA film with a budget of $40 million, is centred in
Moscow, Russia, rather unusual for American films. This is an added
bonus as you get to appreciate the beauty of the city which features
prominently in the film - and then get to see it devestated.
On a business trip to Russia, would-be American social media moguls
Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) arrive for an important
meeting only to find their idea has been stolen by Skyler (Joel
Kinnaman), a Swiss partner looking to cut them out of the deal.
Repairing to a nearby nightclub, they meet up with a couple traveling
tourist users of their neophyte service, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and
Anne (Rachael Taylor).
When a blackout forces the club to evacuate, they see strange
occurrences in the clouds and then glowing orbs of light descending
from the sky. When one lands near the crowd, it doesn’t take long for
them to figure out something’s wrong. When the cop who goes to
investigate it is shredded and turned into ash, the panic begins as they
realize that whatever these things are mean us harm, and worst of all,
once they land we cannot see them. These turn out to be invisible
aliens perhaps looking to strip-mine Earth’s mineral resources, and so
the aforementioned quintet scrambles to stay alive.
Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne and Skyler barricade themselves in a storage basement below the nightclub and wait for days as
they hear the terror happening above them. When they run out of food, they decide to head back out into the city where they
find it to be a ghost town without anyone in sight. All electronic devices ceased to function as soon as the orbs descend upon
the city, so there is no way to find out whether anyone else is still alive or how widespread the attack was.
Making their way across the city, they must come up with a plan of action on how to survive the invisible assailants and how
to leave Moscow and get home — if there is a home to still get back to. Can they possible fight something they can’t see and
how many people are still left in the world? These are questions they must answer on their journey through this foreign and
After a relatively fruitless trip to the American embassy, they meet up with survivors Vika (Veronika Ozerova) and Sergei
(Dato Bakhtadze), the latter an electrician who has devised a way to shield humans from the aliens’ electrical charge-based
vision, as well as a homemade weapon that shoots pulses of microwaves which momentarily stun the creatures, render them
visible and disable their armor.
The script, although pretty typical, followed almost every twist and turn that you could see coming except a few. There were
multiple times I just assumed something was going to happen like normal and then the movie went in a different direction —
which surprised me, so that was a good thing. The actors in the film did great with what they were given, had good chemistry
with each other and seemed genuinely terrified in the film as they ran for their lives. I’m a fan of Emile Hirsch’s work and also
loved Olivia Thirlby in .... well just about everything she's done .... and although the main cast stays pretty small for most of
the film, I didn’t get bored with watching them.
The effects are state of the art
and the design of the
creatures was unique. I liked
the idea that they give off
electricity and so you can use
that as a warning device to
know when they are coming.
Overall, “The Darkest Hour”
was pretty decent for this type
of film and although I was
entertained, it is overall a
pretty typical alien invasion film.
So this movie is an easy action
film to watch, you can go and
enjoy yourself and not have to
think that hard, but for those
wanting a little more substance
and plot to their films, you
might want to look elsewhere.