The Darkest Hour 3D (2012)

Ben (Max Minghella) and Sean (Emile Hirsch) are two internet entrepreneurs visiting Moscow to sell their party-finding social network and make a fortune. Double crossed moments after landing by an ungentlemanly Swede practised in the ancient foreign art of generally being a bit of a dick, the two American’s seek solace in one of the bars that their product was designed to help locate. Spying two fellow tourists, the foursome’s plans are quickly dashed by a strange light display that suddenly turns into a full-blown alien invasion. With only a handful of light bulbs and the occasional car alarm to help them identify their invisible – but sporadically visible – attackers, they make their way to the American embassy in search of a way home.

Poor Moscow. Having just finished rebuilding their precious Kremlin after Brad Bird blew it to pieces in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the populace are swiftly repaid for their efforts by an alien invasion sent to quickly knock it down again, along with the rest of Russia (and planet Earth for that matter). While the involvement of  Timur Bekmambetov as producer might have been enough to spare us the prospect of another New York-set disaster movie, it sadly doesn’t spare us the contractual unsympathetic American protagonists. This is very much your bog standard sci-fi thriller, only with a slightly different green-screen backdrop.

There is one thing that does set The Darkerst Hour apart from its peers, however, and that’s the fact that its alien invaders are little more than invisible balls of light (make of that what you will) who have decided to decimate our planet in pursuit of our remaining fossil fuels. As you might expect, the fact that all you ever glimpse of our annihilators is a warm glimmer does have an unfortunate impact on the film’s success as a thriller. Unlike the invisible killer at the centre of the far superior Final Destination franchise, the antagonists here have no plan, no apparent motive, and no intricate chain reaction to signpost the next casualty. In The Darkest Hour, victims merely disintigrate, at random, with little cause for alarm, or indeed, thrills.

This distinct lack of threat is only further exasperated by the stupidity of the plot. Considering the aliens are introduced as a flurry of aurora-like phenomenon, gently floating to Earth, the fact that they suddenly begin disintigrating people, dogs and buildings comes as a bit of a surprise. They can blast through walls, lasso people with electric whips and drain even the smallest of batteries in their pursuit of some ambiguous energy, yet they are rendered completely powerless by a feeble pane of glass and improbably impenetrable bird cage. Seriously, despite our heroes’ phones dying at the moment of first contact – because the aforementioned effect they have on electricity – they happily power up the moment they are of use to the story.

Perhaps the most overt attack on your suspension of disbelief comes the moment our heroes are knocked into the Moscow river. Despite falling in at precisely the same time, at precisely the same location, and swiftly washed to safety, one character somehow winds up miles inland, in the middle of an infested train station. Setting off on the inevitable rescue mission, with a microwave gun built from scratch in a matter of hours from spare parts apparently throwing themselves to hand, the film duly carries on for another 20 minutes despite the fact that you’ve ceased caring what happens, not only to the hateful band of survivors, but the human race in general.

The Darkest Hour really is an affront to audience intelligence, as director Chris Gorak seems to put more thought into the opening credits than the rest of the film’s elements combined. If you’re the sort of person who believes that a bus can intuit turns and obstructions just so long as enough electricity is charging through its battery, this is the movie for you. For anyone else, go see anything else released this week. Literally, anything.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to The Darkest Hour 3D (2012)

  1. Pingback: January 2012 – Your Mom Got Chased By A Shark Once « popcornaddict

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