The Darkest Hour is a film which was not on my radar but when push came to shove it was a toss up between this and War Horse. I think my choice says a lot about me as a person however I do realise that I am the only one who sees me in a positive manner.
PLOT: Invisible electrified aliens invade Moscow and Sean (Emile Hersh) and his friends must find their way to the US Consulate using nothing other than a tourist map, Molotov cocktails and an AK47. It transpires that the US Consulate did not survive the alien invasion and copious amounts of disappointment and disbelief ensues.
Upon a chance encounter with an ever so crazy Russian scientist, who immediately dies as a result of the friends’ incompetence, they obtain his microwave gun which *insert electrical alien science* and kills the aliens.
Sean discovers that a nuclear submarine is marooned upstream and leads his friends to safety but not before having a fist pumping moment of “fuck yeah I saved the day”. END PLOT
Absolutely everything about The Darkest Hour is bad nay outdated. I have no doubt that if this film were made in 1985 it would have starred Michael J Fox and would be something of a cult classic that all modern day alien invasion films would be made in homage to. Unfortunately this is 2012 and the audience can see straight through the downright shoddy script, acting and special effects.
Emile Hersh is admittedly cute but unfortunately rather on the short side. Hersh is slumming it in this film and although his commitment to the role cannot be questioned his refusal to say lines such as “team-work makes the dream-work” with any awareness as to their corniness did make for some wonderfully unintentional comedy.
Despite being set in Moscow the local cast members were extremely limited until Yuri, Sasha and Boris (the only three Russian names allowed in film) rocked up with their hastily put together yet suspiciously organised defence team.
Absolutely no character stood out and the entire cast was definitely meh with high amounts of blah sprinkled on top.
The science behind technological weapons and aliens has never bothered me in films - if the science was real or logical in any way, shape or form we would all be living in Men in Black. Aliens invading earth I have no immediate beef with. Aliens that are so much further up the evolutionary chain, who can build spacecrafts which allow for space travel, to have x-ray vision and built in infra-red are something to admire. What defeated the aliens in The Darkest Hour? The inability to see through glass.
IMDB states that The Darkest Hour had a budget of $30million however I cannot for the life of me see where it was spent. The aliens were invisible, which as a cost cutting measure is fair enough, but there were no set pieces, camera work or effects to justify it.
The 3D conversion was a complete waste of money as the only 3D aspects were occasional subtitles and a few floating bits of disintegrated human which took me out of the film completely as I remember to thinking that lord almighty this screen needs a good dusting.
The only aspect of the film that can hold its head up high is Moscow itself as it is an absolutely beautiful city. As Moscow was in danger of stealing all of the scenes it was time to drown it in cliché with the cocktails, that random AK47 which had been left lying around in a shopping mall and a good old fashioned nuclear submarine.
The fact that no one involved stopped to think about the downright awfulness of this film is mind boggling yet, (be honest you could see this “yet” coming from a mile off), I had a great time.
The Darkest Hour most certainly falls into the “so bad it’s good” category and is a downright cheese-feast.
There are those who will choose to see War Horse over The Darkest Hour and I think it says a lot about them as people. What is being said is not positive.
The Darkest Hour gets a generous 3/10 as I know that it is bad but the second I accepted the fact that I was watching trash I had a blast.