The Darkest Hour

"Weak"

The Darkest Hour Review


An intriguing idea and inventive visual approach is let down by a script that runs out out of steam before it ever reaches full speed. There simply isn't enough to the characters or plot to hold our interest.

Sean (Hirsch) has accompanied his pal Ben (Minghella) to Moscow for a work pitch that immediately goes awry. Drowning their sorrows in a hip bar, they meet hot tourists Natalie and Anne (Thirlby and Taylor). But a citywide blackout signals the arrival of alien creatures that aren't much more than pulses of light and energy. And they're intent on obliterating humans. So these four young people start an odyssey of survival, meeting a variety of colourful characters along the way.

The premise is actually rather catchy, as is the way the central characters are foreigners way out of their comfort zones. But the screenplay never bothers to develop anyone beyond one or two personality traits, while their interaction feels oddly simplistic. As a result, we only get a sense of peril because the filmmakers tell us it's there; we never feel any fear for these people, because we can't really care if they survive or not.

That said, there is some nicely black humour woven throughout the script, cleverly echoing the Russian culture in the snappy dialog and sharp interaction. Scenes in which the foreigners and locals work through their differences to figure out a way forward are the most interesting moments in the story. They're far more engaging that the contrived but cool-looking mumbo jumbo about how to fight these electrical aliens.

The lack of a more personal connection is odd for director Gorak, whose Right At Your Door did the opposite: held us relentlessly in its grip without any big effects. This on the other hand is packed with eye-catching visual trickery, although the 3D is never used at all. And before Moscow is decimated, the film feels like a marketing tool for under 30s to visit a fabulous new clubbing destination, with its sexy boys and girls, lively bars and clubs, and a general disdain for the law.



The Darkest Hour

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 25th December 2011

Box Office USA: $21.4M

Budget: $44M

Distributed by: Summit Entertainment

Production compaines: Regency Enterprises, Bazelevs Production, The Jacobson Company, New Regency Pictures, Summit Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 4.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Chris Gorak

Starring: as Sean, as Anne, as Natalie, as Skyler, as Ben, Veronika Ozerova as Vika, Dato Bakhtadze as Sergei, Yuriy Kutsenko as Matvei (as Gosha Kutsenko), Nikolay Efremov as Sasha, Georgiy Gromov as Boris, Artur Smolyaninov as Yuri (as Arthur Smoljaninov), Anna Roudakova as Tess, Pyotr Fyodorov as Anton Batkin (as Petr Fedorov), Ivan Gromov as Bartender No. 1, Aleksandr Chernykh as Bartender No. 2 (as Alexsandr Chernyh)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.