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The Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour, The (2011) Movie Poster
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  •  USA / Russia  •    •  89m  •    •  Directed by: Chris Gorak.  •  Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor, Joel Kinnaman, Veronika Vernadskaya, Dato Bakhtadze, Yuriy Kutsenko, Nikolay Efremov, Georgiy Gromov, Artur Smolyaninov, Anna Rudakova, Pyotr Fyodorov.  •  Music by: Tyler Bates.
       The American software designers Sean and Ben travel to Moscow to sell their software to investors. However, their Swedish partner Skyler pulls a fast one on Sean and Ben, and they are out of the business. They go to a nightclub, where they meet American Natalie and Australian Anne and they flirt with the girls and see Skyler in the club. Out of the blue, the population is surprised by lights, which they mistake for natural phenomena. But soon, they learn that the lights are aliens invading Earth and using power supply to annihilate mankind. Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne and Skyler hide in the kitchen and when they leave the place, they seek out survivors on the street. Are they the last people on Earth?

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Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Image from: Darkest Hour, The (2011)
Christmas day! What a day for seeing movies! I really wanted to see Sir Brad Bird's Mission Impossible, but my friend wanted to see it with me, so I went for the next best thing: a Summit film. If you have can't the best, get the worst, Fat Man sez. Just going to start off with a disclaimer: SPOILER ALERTS. I won't say the movie was predictable, but it certainly wasn't rational. Throughout this review, I'll be throwing in some sane personwriter pop quizzes. Let's see how you stack up!

The Darkest Hour starts with our " " "heros" " " " -' I really couldn't put enough quotes around that word -' flying in to Moscow on the worst CG airplane I've ever seen. Nice, Summit. Sean and Ben are there to pitch their newest internet craze Apple phones apps -' World Travel Hunter (I honestly don't remember) -' to an investment group. They find that their Swedish buddy, Skyler, has ripped off their idea and is selling it as they walk in the room. WHOA!! In a fit of being sad, they end up at a hip hip Moscow night club with two of the stupidest people on the continent, Natalie and Anne. Now that we have our cast of dummies, aliens invade. They hide in the basement of the club for a week until the coast is clear.

POP QUIZ #1! Aliens have attacked and slaughtered most humans alive. You're an American in Moscow and still alive. What do you do? A) Head for the closest police station. B) Head for the closest military base. C) Head for the highest building to get a vantage point on the action. D) Head for the American Embassy.

If you chose D, you're in good company. Off they go! Oh wait, it's time for…

POP QUIZ #2! Aliens have attacked and slaughtered most humans alive. You're in Moscow and you know nothing except that they are out for blood. You've got to get to… sigh… the American Embassy. How do you get there? A) Try to move from building to building, using interconnects. B) Walk down the middle of the biggest street you can find, in full view of everything. C) Use the ancient Moscow sewer and tunnel systems. D) Take advantage of the extensive underground transit system.

If you answered B, not only was that the best choice, but you're still alive. Now at the embassy, they find nobody is there, but somehow discover there's a SUBMARINE leaving soon that will take them to relative safety. Joined by others along the way, they finally get on a boat to float down to the sub. Oh, Ben, Skylar, and Anne are now dead. Guess those choices weren't so good after all. A huge blast knocks the boat over, and everybody manages to make it to the sub 50 feet away except for Natalie…

FINAL QUIZ! #3 FOR ALL THE MARBLES! You are trying to get to the safety of a submarine when you're knocked in to the water. Do you.. A) Resurface, swim to the sub, and get in. B) Resurface, swim to the sub, and get in. C) Resurface, swim to the bank, walk 20 feet to the sub, and get in. D) Resurface, swim to the bank, head a half mile inland at a dead sprint, and hide in a bus.

If you chose D, you are the love interest of The Darkest Hour and we're supposed to be cheering for you to make it. Wow. Wow. Needless to say, or maybe I should since nothing else made sense, they retrieve her, kill a few aliens, and head off. The crappy VO at the end lets us know a few other aliens have been killed and one or two ships blown up. So? They're strip-mining the earth and then leaving.

I've aired most of my complaints already, but it's worth noting a few other things. Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella are no slouches, acting- wise, but you couldn't tell. Even good actors need direction, I suppose. I also take back everything I've said about wanting better monster design. These were completely original and completely horrible.

Darkest Hour really leaves me a little torn. On one hand, I enjoyed the film immensely. It's like watching a car full of Hollywood producers roll down a hill, catch fire, and burst in to flames. Beautiful and hilarious in its tragedy. On the other hand, this film got heavily marketed, released in over 2000 theaters, and did terrible in the box office. Hollywood complains that nobody wants to go to movies, nobody is buying tickets, it's all the fault of pirates, we need more more more restrictions so we can make every bit we can. Funny, the top monthly grosses have all happened since 2007, most since 2009, and 4 in 2011 alone. Who's not making enough money? This will also be held up as an example of why original work doesn't sell -' more prequels, sequels, and remakes for everyone! Maybe if you had a screening process for scripts and gave creative control to directors and writers instead of a pile of producers, good, original work would be successful.

Merry Christmas everyone. Continue to vote with your dollar and give your hard earned cash to deserving movies.


Review by FatMan-QaTFM from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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