The Darkest Hour Reviews
But Come On!!! It Can't Be 12%, It most definitely can't be Batman And Robin Bad, Just, Come on!
It is Far More Exciting than i expected and i didn't wanna miss this one.
"Wow, so there'll be crazy badass Russians fighting them and being crazy badass Russians??"
"No. Whiny privileged American exchange students. Because 'Murica."
"So why set it in Russia?"
A bunch of nearly invisible aliens have come to steal our minerals for whatever reason. The visual effects are creative, but they can get somewhat repetitive.
The actors do well with the material they have, which I found to be surprisingly believable. Unlike most movies in this genre, the characters are surprisingly cooperative. There is no time for remorse when a character dies but a good number of leads die in the film.
I guess the biggest missed opportunity was that this is just a popcorn film and doesn't really have much to say in regards to theme other than teamwork. It's in a weird spot, it's not bad enough to be made fun of but it's not good enough to be taken seriously. However, I didn't hate myself after watching so check it out if you want. If not, your not missing much.
Some of the concepts, like invisible invaders that have no discernable weaknesses, having night and the darkness be a safer time to travel than daytime and having foreigners stuck in a country while an alien invasion takes place are all interesting and should make for some interesting plot points. My first problem with the movie is that it gets frustrating to have absolutely nothing to look at it when it comes to the antagonists. You would think that maybe there would be some variety in the creatures that are sent out to destroy mankind, with some initial, invisible invaders and then maybe some visible, not-so-threatning ground troops to add a bit of variety to the movie but it's the same thing all the way through. It's the kind of thing that would work on paper, or in a novel but feels cheap on the screen. It's true that what your mind comes up with is going to be a lot more frightening than anything that could be created in the movie but this doesn't aim to be a frightening horror movie, it's an action adventure film.
To make things worse, the dialogue is poorly written and the characters are flat and the plot is badly written. You can easily predict who is going to make it out alive and who is going to be disintegrated by aliens because all of the characters that die are either late additions to the movie, have no character development or perform some kind of desperate, heroic action before getting whipped out. This means that there's a big lack of tension throughout, hampered further by the fact that the movie's internal logic is very flawed. So these aliens are invisible, but you can kind of "see" them because they make any electronics go haywire (light bulbs light up, appliances get activated, that sort of thing). This means that during night time, you can spot them pretty easily if they pass by anything electronic. In an atypical move, darkness is your friend here. Characters spread lightbulbs on the ground to check if the invaders are present or attach them to their own clothing so they can tell when danger is close. That's cool, but sometimes I found it to be inconsistent. I also thought that the way they handled the aliens' "monster vision" didn't really make a lot of sense. It appears to be consistent from scene to scene, depending on whether or not the characters are supposed to get spotted or get away safely. Despite the movie's low budget it does use the money it has well, except when we do finally get a reveal of what the invisible invaders look like. They look incredibly cheap and clearly created by computer effects (Another instance where practical effects would have been the better option).
This felt more like a video game than an actual movie. The characters move from checkpoint to checkpoint, avoiding aliens, gathering weapons and meeting with allies while people get introduced and killed off in rotation. The main survivors acquire a special weapon about halfway through the movie and it's a big deal. They can finally start fighting back while everyone else has just been running this whole time. A couple of scenes later however, someone tells the protagonists that the gun can easily be replicated and they have a second one within the hour. Doesn't that sound like an "upgrade unlocked" feature in something you'd find on your Playstation?
The characters act without logic, the aliens develop weaknesses whenever the plot is convenient and the explanations we get for the alien invasion and weaponry are complete non-sense. The story feels like a stock space invader plotand there's nothing that really make this stand out. I don't recommend this one. (On Blu-ray, November 4,2012)