Quick Review – The Darkest Hour

Posted in Uncategorized by - January 02, 2012

Sure, at first glance ‘The Darkest Hour’ looks like the kind of low-budget, half-assed sci-fi thriller that exists only to make Redboxes appear well-stocked. It’s more than that, though. It’s also a half-assed sci-fi thriller that exists to relentlessly jam a new special effect down our throats – I’m gonna call it ‘quantum suck’. In this effect, humans are dragged into a vortex while they shed pixels like they’re being pulled through a digital wood chipper. It’s not a terrible effect, the first couple dozen times.

The plot is simple. Two Americans who may or may not be Jonas Brothers fly to Moscow to pitch a seriously outdated-sounding app to some Russian moguls. (Foursquare plus Dodgeball divided by Zagats). They meet two American women in a nightclub, as one does. Then the power goes out, and the aliens attack.

From then on it’s basically Cloverfield. Photogenic kids running through a city, hiding from the bad guys, trying to escape aliens that we can’t see. Some of them get iced, but not the ones we like. It looks touch-and-go now and then, but things more or less work out.

‘The Darkest Hour’ suffers more from lack of ambition than lack of budget. It’s neither especially good nor especially bad – just a pastiche of sci-fi cliches and dialog you forget right before you hear it.

Now, for the spoilers.

The aliens are invisible, most likely because visible aliens require financial investment. That’s not a spoiler, because it’s in the trailer. The spoiler is that eventually, you do get to see the aliens for a few seconds at a time, just before they die. And they are the crappiest aliens I’ve seen since computers got into the movie business. Some real Nintendo 64 type bullshit. Not only not scary, but borderline hilarious.

More importantly, the space-gnomes are apparently attacking earth to steal our ‘energy’. I’m not a scientist, but if your race has met the massive energy requirements of interstellar travel, you don’t need our coal, and you definitely wouldn’t travel all the way here to get it.

At some point you might be lying awake with the flu, drifting in and out of a Nyquil haze and unable to focus your eyes for more than a few minutes at a time. Seeking to quiet the rushing blood in your ears, you might turn your fragmented attention to pay cable. For that moment, this is the perfect movie. Otherwise, hum something to yourself or read a magazine.

This post was written by MisterDee

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