The Darkest Hour…we also would have accepted The Darkest Hour and A Half or Cinema’s Darkest Hour.
Oh the hilarity. And I’m sure I won’t be the last to use it.
Still, despite the numerous bad reviews, The Darkest Hour isn’t as hopeless as they’re making out.
But – it aint much better.
It’s the standard alien invasion movie we’ll get three or four times this year, but it tries really hard not to be standard. It succeeds on a couple of levels, in the way of a few cool differences. For one; the aliens are invisible, and travel to Earth in a yellow version of the Northern Lights. And it’s set entirely in Russia, despite being an American movie.
Ok, so I can’t think of any others right now.
Where these movies live or die is the action and special effects. There isn’t a lot in the way of action, but there are plenty of spurts of sweet visuals, where you do, and don’t, get to see the invisible attackers. The best definitely comes in the way of how we humans are killed off. It don’t look like much fun.
What’s most disappointing about The Darkest Hour is its cast. It’s not because they’re bad actors, they just didn’t need this on their resume. Emile Hirsch didn’t, Olivia Thirlby didn’t, Max Minghella didn’t, aussie Rachael Taylor didn’t. I was gonna say the guy who put on one of the worst accents I’ve ever heard pretending to be Sweedish deserves it, but it turns out he actually is from Sweeden! So I don’t really know what that means.
Actually, I take that back; the casts resume isn’t the most disappointing part – the script is. Some of the dialogue is actually embarrassing. You know when you’re watching an end-of-the-world type movie and someone drops a line that you just know they wouldn’t say if it were real life? This movie is full of it. The type of stuff where you just have to pay credit to the actors for getting through it without laughing.
For me, it didn’t start well when, following five days of self-imposed confinement after the attack, our five main characters emerge just as beautiful, just as clean, and just as unshaven as they were when they went it.
Good news for the brain dead members of the mainstream audiences: each of the five fill in the necessary, cliché roles for this sort of movie: the slacker with potential, his more mature best friend, the girl running away, the scared girl who might just get everybody killed and the cocky jock who you just know is gonna die first.
The Darkest Hour also gets pretty dumb when it gets to a point when it realises it might not be able to fully explain everything it’s teased. Cue the “man in a white coat with all the answers” – this time represented as an overweight, tech-savvy loner with an undisclosed occupation. Regardless, he knows what the aliens are doing, how they’re doing it and how to beat them. He’s even built weapons – I guess out of kitchen utensils and batteries. Holy shit - it might have been MacGyver!
It’s fun in a “as long as I don’t really think about what I really think about it” way…and lucky to be that.