Writer: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"The Darkest Hour" is one of those movies where you get to urge to make a pun of. For example, how watching it IS one of the darkest hours of my life. Sorry, but the movie is laden with one too many cheesy lines like that one.
It all begins with two friends a la Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin, but they are named Sean and Ben, who travel to Moscow in order to close a deal for a new social networking program. The fact that the two and all the other characters you meet later on are never given any last names should say something about the movie, and true enough, about ten minutes in, the body count is racking up faster than the coins at jackpot. This is because aliens have invaded Earth, with the sole purpose of leeching minerals and electricity. Any lifeform that comes into contact with them, hostile or not, is eradicated, leaving only ashes behind.
As you can see, the movie does have a good premise, and the trailer certainly did not disappoint. So there is absolutely no excuse for the characters to be spouting rubbish like "They came here with a plan" or "They can see us, but we can't see them." If anything, what director Chris Gorak needs this Christmas are lessons on subtlety. To make matters worse, none of the cast has enough star power in them to distract audiences from the flat lining screenplay.
Special effects and cinematography-wise, yes, these two must be examined together in this case, because while the special effects are wonderfully worked, with composed shots of flickering lights to indicate danger, the crumbling buildings and a depopulated Moscow, one cannot help but feel that it is all designed to indulge in the laziness on the director's part. On one hand, you have got a movie filled with unseen horrors lurking in the background. On the other, there are no long, lingering shots, or climatic build-up to induce a sense of real danger, leaving only that subpar cast you just want to see dead. The aliens look like cheap pinwheels of light for goodness' sake, not to mention dumb. The only other film in a similar vein is "The Happening" and no decent director should ever want to emulate that, period.
In conclusion, "The Darkest Hour" is an inane movie that has no spot in this year-end season that is stacked with worthwhile movies. Bad enough to be enjoyable, yes, but unless you are watching it for free, the odds of the ticket price against the enjoyment of watching this movie are dark.Cinema Online, 29 December 2011