Sunday, September 21, 2014

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "The Darkest Hour" (2011)

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Movie"The Darkest Hour"
Director: Chris Gorak
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes

A pair of American web designers, Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella), head to Moscow to make a deal for a new type of social network. When a partner of theirs named Skyler (Joel Kinnamen) steals their design to sell it for himself, they are left high and dry. They head to a nightclub to do some drinking, where they meet a pair of American girls named Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor), who are on vacation. Without warning, strange lights start floating down from the sky. These sometimes invisible lights start incinerating everyone they come in contact with. Sean, Bob, Natalie, Anne, and Skyler are some of the only few people left alive and they have to find a way to survive and possibly fight back against these alien invaders.  

We can't really recall any heavy marketing for this movie, but we're sure it had some. It just didn't ever look that interesting to us, and since we know ourselves, we were right. The acting in this movie is pretty awful across the board. Emile Hirsch is probably the most notable and accomplished actor in this film and even he is horrible. They all deliver lines like they were reading them directly off the page, especially during moments of intense "peril," and yet during moments where it was not necessary, the line delivery was overly dramatic from time to time. Overall, for everyone beyond Hirsch, you'd get more emotional inflection out of a mannequin.  

The focus of this film revolves heavily around an alien invasion. When you have a situation where aliens are involved, generally speaking, you want the aliens to be awesome and unique and scary. The alien designs in this movie are just flat out lazy. Even the way people are killed is lazy. They are basically sucked up into the energy fart aliens and are turned to balls of dust. When they eventually figure out how to kill these things, it's even less eventful as the aliens simply explode into a mass of black rock shrapnel. Can you say tired? Basic? Can you say UGH?

The plot of this movie is also completely ridiculous. Often times, the main plot in alien invasion films is that they invade Earth for absolutely no reason other than to simply annihilate mankind, and this is no different, but that's not why it is ridiculous. The actions of the human characters are often beyond stupid and the abilities of the aliens are completely inconsistent. It seems like a big revelation that the aliens can't see humans through glass, when really, the aliens can't see them through anything. They can't see them behind cars, or pillars, or any other solid object for that matter. Their field of vision seems worse than ours, if they weren't cloaked in invisibility, they would have zero advantage. The idea of an invisible alien attacker may be to induce fear in audiences, but in this film, it just induces boredom.

This movie is not worth the time it takes to scroll through Netflix to type in the name of the film. It has already been forgotten by both of us, and when we went to write this review, I exclaimed, "which one was that?"

My Rating: 2.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 2.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 4.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 12%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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