The Darkest Hour: Movie Review

"The Darkest Hour" is a film full of potential, not with its premise of invisible alien forces attacking Earth, the movie is definitely off to a good start. But after one and a half hours, that is just all of it. The film's problem is very basic - it gets lost along the way forgetting to capitalize on its unique idea. It sordidly lacks any clear direction, identity or even solid and compelling characters which makes this movie feel a little too lost on what it wants to accomplish. It was as if the filmmakers themselves did not know what should be included into the final cut and those that should have been scrapped out. In the end, everything just felt a mash of unfinished ideas filled with cheesy scenes and lines and innately stupid characters that may piss anyone off.

Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) are two young programmers who set off to Moscow to sell their social networking software designed for the party crowd. When they arrive at their meeting, they discover that their Swedish business partnet Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) has stolen their software and have them thrown off the premises. The two decide to wallow their sadness away at a bar and meet two women, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor). As the four party together, all of the lights suddenly go out and they soon discover that the whole of Moscow is on blackout. Aurora-like lights descend upon them and become invisible right before their eyes. When a policeman tries to touch the "thing", he disintegrates into nothing. Sean, Ben, Skyler, Natalie and Anne find themselves in the middle of an invasion with invisible forces that destroy human beings in an instant - can they find a way to survive?

"The Darkest Hour" lacks any compelling reason for anyone to watch it. The premise might be good but it botches it severely with a story full of predictable scenes, special effects that are great on some but has amateurish ones on most, characters that will frustrate you and yet the movie actually dares to try unconventional things at times. It's this see-saw effect that we just don't get. It's like half of the movie was well-budgeted and well-thought off while the other lacks any semblance of effort. For example, Moscow was simply beautiful more so in its aftermath state but there are also scenes were we get to see the alien's first person perspective and those were undeniably bad. Another one is it missing compelling, lead characters. We just didn't know who to follow or who to root for half of the time. As for the whole plot, it was mostly made up of forced predictable scenes but it had some elements that did surprise us specifically on how some characters died. Most scenes feel too conveniently placed - everyone in Moscow is dead but Natalie's mom is able to survive in the Statess (and why is she able to receive a text message even with a global blackout) and a rampaging bus with our characters stops conveniently in front of their Russian comrades are just some examples that weirded us out. As for the acting, everyone had forgettable performances but this was amplified further with one-dimensional characters and a film full of cheesy lines and speeches. If we could choose an actor who did a swell job, it'S Emile Hirsch. The guy has potential but he should choose his films well from now on. Finally, this is a film we won't recommend watching in 3D as its too dark and did hurt our eyes.

Rating: 2 reels

Why you should watch it:
- the premise still works its charm a bit
- the effects were great on some scenes but some did suck badly

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- one dimensional, stupid characters will frustrate you
- the story is full of predictable scenes
- avoid this in 3D at all costs

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