The Darkest Hour (2011) Review

I’m not sure how many people were anticipating this holiday’s sci-fi action The Darkest Hour, but I know I’m not the only one who perked up at the sight of a new alien invasion/apocalypse movie. Despite the elaborate show in the constant media coverage, the box offices are showing a low turnout for Chris Gorak’s film. Before viewing, I didn’t have hopes one way or another about Darkest Hour. But what I came away with from my time spent at the theater was nearly worthless.

Ben (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch) are headed to Moscow for an amazing opportunity with a new social networking site they’ve spent all their money creating. But when it comes time for their meeting with the big shots, it seems a convenient last minute cancelation leaves the guys without a deal, and completely broke. Well, being in Moscow anyway, they make their way to a generic, and for no apparent reason, amazing nightclub and proceed to drink and whine until running into a pair of female Americans that are just their size. Now to the good stuff, when the evening is abruptly overtaken by unseen orbs of dangerous power bent on disintegrating every living thing in sight.

From here, the movie takes the typical format of an alien-invasion formula: Survive, deduce their weakness, lose a couple of party members, gain a couple, repeat, and then tie it off with a vague and up-for-interpretation ending. You may be thinking I’ve summarized this film too harshly, but no, this is quite an accurate and generous paragraph. Nothing in Darkest Hour is substantial. The most important trait of an end-of-the-world movie is the characters that have survived, why, and who they are. But by missing that note completely, this movie had barely anything else. Action maybe? No, not really. Unless you consider a lot of running (without exhaustion), small fireballs, and flickering light, action, you should pass this over. Curse words, blood, sex? None of the above. Even the acting was sub-par. The one element that The Darkest Hour was full of was CG! A boring amount of fake destruction and imaginary Moscow.

Savage score screams a frustrated 1 out of 5. Very disappointing. No subtext, no characters, no substance. Gore? An invisible 0 out of 10 gore score for The Darkest Hour. This is one of those movies where you’re rooting for the aliens.

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