The Darkest Hour is a story of five tourists who become one of the few people left in the city alive after the invasion of an unknown alien-type. Sound familiar? That’s because it is.
Business partners Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) travel to Moscow in the hope to sell their social networking software. When they are cheated out of their business scheme, the only thing left to do is to commiserate drink at a bar, at which they meet two young women Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor.) The foursome and the rest of the party-goers are soon interrupted by an illumine apparition that appears from the sky. The first inclination of wonder and anticpation is quickly turned to destruction and anarchy as the city of Moscow comes abruptly under attack. Locking themselves (and coincidentally the Swedish businessman who cheated the partners out of their chance of success) in an underground space of some sort, it is up to them to find help and ultimately, survive- yawn!
While the special effects are impressive (and easily the most credible aspect of the 3D movie) as you watch the aliens disintegrate the human life form limb my limb, there isn’t much in the way of ‘variety.’ You do start to wonder after the twentieth-something killing of this nature whether or not the aliens have another trick up their sleeve- or the film makers!Just as you think the movie can’t get any more predictable, we are hit with a surprise! The now-three clan bumps into what I can only describe as the three Russian musketeers, one of who is wearing a prehistoric Roman Knight’s outfit and riding a horse. Apparently they are policeman. As they parade around waving doctor-who-like armory which zaps the invisible enemy, they propose some sort of reasoning to the alien’s motives as an attack on Earth’s metal resources. Although the movie at least attempts to offer a justification of the attack, it couldn’t have been done in a more comical and goofy way.
The acting and depth of the characters is lame and you end up on the aliens side, hoping they kill everyone quickly so as to end the movie quicker. At least then they could claim some originality. Unfortunately they don’t, and Sean and his now love interest boards a ship to aid the rest of the world in fighting these martians and restoring world peace. Hirsch mutters out the phrase, ‘This is how it starts,’ but thankfully for us that is how it ends. Despite being easily the strongest member of the cast, Hirsch still pulls off a weak, less than convincing performance somewhat tainting my memories of the impeccable talent he showed in his leading role in Into the Wild five years prior.So if you want to see a 3D movie purely for the one effect or to see a glimpse of the attractive sights of Moscow go ahead. But for any other reason, and for film buffs who like to be entertained by a decent picture, avoid this disaster noise at all costs.