Wednesday, December 28, 2011

“THE DARKEST HOUR” Movie Review. Forget Global Warming. Banish Tsunamis. You Can’t Beat an Alien Invasion.


Aha, this is an alien flick.

Welcome aboard a journey of thrills, spills and run-for-your-life shoot-outs that will take you all the way to MOSCOW in order to experience this absurd apocalyptic adventure.

It’s a sci-fi to begin with, action-packed and crafted to bowl you over with its delivery of scares,

if not, then the sombre facade of the wicked Russian capital should do the trick.

Let’s pause for the preamble:

Young professionals Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) are two arrogant American software developers.

They fly to Moscow to pitch their new social networking computer program to a potential Russian investor, only to discover that their intellectual property rights have been deviously usurped by an unscrupulous Swedish collaborative counterpart Skyler (Joel Kinnaman).

The hapless duo head for the nearest pub to drown their sorrows, but as fate would have it, the power around the city suddenly goes out, and they espy a heavenly “on-off”  shower of glittering strange lights dancing in the sky.

The lights turn out to be the arrival of aliens that are invisible to the human naked eye and operate via electricity.

Sean and Ben seek refuge in the basement of a nightclub for several days along with a pair of pretty young tourists – American Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and her Aussie pal Anne (Rachael Taylor).

The frightened group emerges from hiding to witness Moscow in tethers and ruins, with its inhabitants turned to dust.

Now they must band together to uncover other survivors and figure a way to combat the  gruesome alien invasion.

Once out in the open, they discover that mankind is almost eradicated, and the aliens are roaming freely throughout the badly battered city.

But these creatives are invisible, and the only clue to their presence is that all vehicles and lights automatically ignite whenever an alien passes by.

At the end of the film, they learn that there may be a safety catchment – a submarine is waiting in the Moscow River to transport all survivors back to their home countries.

This Reviewer sees the regular 35 mm presentation for the press members, so he is unable to comment on the 3D version.

Indeed “THE DARKEST HOUR” should reap better returns in the East where there can be a more appreciative audience.

It may not be as pulse-pounding as it should have been,

nor is it a heart-stopping horror Alien flick about creatures that loom and kill in the dark.

In addressing this film, we should share two schools of thought:

For those seeking light entertainment, this one’s value for money.

For the armchair skeptics who are looking for dissections as in a surgery room, there are enough flaws to gripe about.

The thrills and frights may not be that rampant – but there are still the sweet young things to gawk at as we watch them deliciously, battling for dear life, then screamingly succumbing to their unfortunate demise, one by one. When killed, victims are reduced to a pulp of swirling ashes and floating embers.

Now, that’s some kind of enjoyment.

What can we say about the film director CHRIS GORAK?


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