MOVIE REVIEW: The Darkest Hour (2011)
After visiting my brother and his family, a friend called me and wanted to know if I wanted to hit the movies. I said yeah, and we went. Not a lot of movies to interest me this holiday season, the least of which was the new sci-fi movie The Darkest Hour. It looked interesting in its own way, what with the INVISIBLE ALIENS and people being disintegrated with electricity, but it had some negative outlooks by way of this medium — the Internet. We went to see it anyway, and I was nonplussed.
So, we’re supposed to believe that four Americans — Sean (Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild, Speed Racer ), his buddy Ben (Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale [TV]), Anne (Rachael Taylor, Transformers , Jessica Jones [TV]), and her personal assistant Natalie (Olivia Thirlby, thirteen, Dredd ) — and a Swedish guy named “Skyler” (Joel Kinnaman, Suicide Squad) are going to coincidentally be in the same bar in Moscow at the same time when aliens land and attack for mineral resources? My ass. Moscow is HUGE — I’ve never been and it’s common knowledge that it is not a one-saloon town. These people hold up in the bar’s basement and come out after spending almost five days with each other. When they come out they make their way to nowhere in particular, wandering about and getting into close scrapes with the alien menace.
In their wanderings, they learn that the aliens can see creatures due to natural bio-electricity, and cannot see through glass (because it’s an insulator.) The INVISIBLE ALIENS can also be detected by laying down electrical devices — they killed all the electricity in the city, they are the only source of it and give it off like dead skin. When the streetlights come on, you better be on the way home. While still out, they meet up with other survivors like Vika (Veronika Vernadskaya) and her mad scientist friend Sergei (Dato Bakhtadze). On another jaunt, they meet up with the heavily-armored Alien Fighters led by Yuri (Artur Smolyaninov), who are able to weaken an alien to the point where they can kill it with a rocket launcher from my favorite character BORIS.
BORIS (played by Georgiy Gromov) has no lines. He just shoots rockets. And that’s all that matters.
Along the way, supporting actors die and a way is found to escape the carnage of Moscow for equally ruined parts of Earth. The movie ends on an obviously dead note, promising a retaliatory response in the form of “This is how it begins”. I would have enjoyed the movie a bit better if this was in the same vein as Night Watch and Day Watch — sci-fi movies with an all-Russian cast to better make sense of the movie as a whole.
Why attack Earth for mineral resources when there are probably plenty of mineral-rich asteroids floating in space that don’t have people who can develop microwave cannons to disrupt your shielding and kill you with rockets? Then again, why would aliens who are allergic to water come to conquer a planet that’s 75% water ( Signs) or fail to do the research about microorganisms ( War of the Worlds — almost all versions)? It comes down to a simple fact: we want to win when we would most certainly lose (see Battle: Los Angeles). In that way, The Darkest Hour is the “feel-good movie of the year.”
- “Skyler”: Worst Swedish name EVAR. Also a dickface.
- Anna Roudakova as Tess, the only person who should not have died. She had no lines but was sooooooooo fine.
- In the movie, the main character mentions glass is an insulator. To me that sounded fishy, so I looked it up. Wikipedia says it is an insulator and has been for 60+ years, and many other sources also state this as fact. Way to go, screen writers, you did the research.
- INVISIBLE. ALIENS. All the money went to filming in Moscow, apparently.
- Vika representing all Russia with a Molotov cocktail to an alien’s face.
- BORIS. He shoots rockets.
- If this movie is supposed to take place in 2011 post-Communist Russia, why does it look as if even the graphic designers are taking cues from the Command and Conquer video game series and placing the movie’s world in Soviet Russia?
- A friend of mine with Russian ancestry would have told me that all the Russians needed were TANKS. According to BORIS, they only need rockets.
- I fucking hate that stupid bitch Anne; she could have lived! Too scared…
This is a quote I made after seeing The Darkest Hour:
“HALLO MY NAME BORIS I SHOOT ROCKET PYOO PYOO”
My friend Alex kept saying it over and over, and now I believe that’s what the Alien Fighters really were:
This movie is only tolerable for one character: BORIS.
Originally published at http://gedren56.blogspot.com.