The Darkest Hour (2011)

There are generally two kinds of movies. One is that which will entertain to the best that lacks a strong plot and great lead cast. Another is one with, a good plot and some terrific lead roles. The darkest hour gets the third position, which has amateur actors and a silly plot. but still I can mention that there were some chilly moments and also necessary dialogs to make us realize the actual idea of the screenwriter. The darkest hour borrows the principles of physics, and utilizes to the highest imaginary level and creates a different alien attack we have ever seen. This movie is loaded with huge special effects and lots of sound which was very loud and barely tolerable. The major problem with the movie is that though the proceedings were interesting, it still lacks logic and despite some spiny goose bump sequences it does not impress because mainly of the underwritten plot and anticlimax. Another problem is that the lead cast are not quite impressive to perform. This is not Arnold schwazenegger fighting the invisible creature just like he did in predator. Its Emile Hirsch (famous for Alpha Dog) who is hunting down the creatures along with his friends holding a long battery operated cannon emitting microwaves. That is the problem. There are no big time actors. Director Chris Gorak with his previous suspense thriller right at your door is back after a long span of 4 years. The screenwriter Jon Spaihts has begun the movie in a nice way, but did not know how to end it. the main reason is probably due to the invisibility of the aliens. The movie would have better if there was a single one, landed just like the predator. But in this movie, there are no numbers mentioned and one scene demonstrates that they are all over the world. Now what to do? Give an anticlimax and wait for a sequel to come. No chance. If there is a possibility for a sequel, this time there must be crowd pullers.

The plot is about alien invaders who are not visible strike down Moscow and slowly turn every living person into ash. This is only possible if they have tons of heat energy stored in them. A group of friends including Emile and Olivia struggle and find clues and tricks to escape the attack. Once they understand its weakness, it is time for showdown. They meet a Russian scientist or plumber or electrician not properly developed, who makes a microwave gun that can collide with them and destroy. In one such instance he is attacked and killed. The remaining group run for life and in the meanwhile they find some help. With aliens surrounded, how are they going to escape?

Plot development is so underwritten. There is no much scope for broadening the science facts and give instances of logic behind their attack. But it is rather weak and does not have much to be developed. CGI dominates in all forms and we have Emile and group running after CGI set pieces. One question is that if at all, they are behind the visually generated images why to choose Moscow. They might have chosen a simple city or at least some remote district near U.S.A. the reason is quite simple. It is the producer Timur berkambetov (famous for wanted) who has some interest towards Russia.

With a run time of 89 minutes, the darkest hour looked sufficient. The first forty minutes was thrilling at its peaks. The next forty probably looked more slow and has nothing to do with the plot rather chase down and find a submarine that is probably waiting for the group. The last fight scene occurs in a railway shed and the invisible alien attack begins. As expected it has an anticlimax.

Character development is only somewhat better than a silly plot. Emile and his friend Max Minghellia are young software junks who come to Russia to sell their software. But they are in trouble as something else in waiting for. Olivia shirlby plays a girl who runs and runs and finally she disappears from nowhere and found in a bus yelling for the protagonist. Racheal taylor plays olivia’s friend or sister who does not do much, but she is really a character that gives us the awaited prediction on her fate. Joel kinnaman holds a gun and shoots at the creature and we know what is going to happen to him. Some side characters always perform well and in here are two characters that do much better than the lead roles.

Finally I can say that it is a good attempt to make a different alien invasion film. But due to the underwritten plot and lack of good cast support it might not be that impressive. Everyone after watching this movie will come out with a question that why not Tom cruise or bruce willis was there in this movie?. I had in mind.  Chris Gorak’s brilliant attempt has not fumbled. But the movie has. The darkest hour is quite a thrilling movie. But everything was in trailer.  There is nothing to take more from the movie as trailer is quite good giving us a total idea.

WOODEN SPOON

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