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'Survive the holidays' (and hopefully this film)
The Darkest Hour (DVD)
Member Name: carlz2001uk
The Darkest Hour (DVD)
Advantages: Had the potential to be far greater, had decent enough CGI
Disadvantages: Acting / Casting horrendous, too many goofs, unbelievable plot / acting, ends badly
Being a fan of apocalyptic movies, I recorded one that was described as such and last night finally got the chance to watch it. The Darkest hour is a low budget film without a low budget! With a budget of $30 million it somehow smashed that and raked in over $64 million at the Box Office, but to anyone who actually parted with any part of those millions, I really feel for you!
The film describes itself as an apocalyptic one, but it has elements of sci fi. It starts off pretty low key with two Americans, Ben and Sean (played by Max Minghella and Emile Hirsch) who travel to Moscow in the hope of selling their ideas for social network / party locating software. Things don't quite go to plan and they soon find themselves in a nightclub drowning their sorrows and eyeing up two girls they just happen to have seen on some social network. They all make friends and are having a jolly old time until the power goes. When the clubbers make their way outside, everyone is stood staring at the sky at what looks like the Northern Lights, until the lights start falling out of the sky. Panic quickly erupts when the lights start evaporating humans into dust. This sounds fairly ridiculous writing this but even at this point I was thinking, 'okay, just go with it!'. My husband was rolling his eyes and quickly nodded off to sleep, but given the similarities it seemed to have with War of The Worlds (and we all know how successful that was), I figured I just had to believe what I was seeing and would enjoy it.
After a few scenes of panic, the four tourists soon find themselves in a cat and mouse chase with the crazy lights that actually end up being invisible and can only be seen when near electrical items (yes really!). There are some pretty impressive scenes such as when they are in Red Square there isn't one soul in the whole place. There are plenty of scenes that make any good work they have done completely pointless, such as them telling you they have been hiding out in a basement for 26 hours, going in when it was pitch black but coming out in broad daylight. Yes this could have just been early morning but it didn't feel like that. Another scene saw a burnt out car with no smoke coming from it whatsoever, I'm no fire expert but would imagine there would still be some smoldering going on!
I can't quite work out why the film was set in Moscow, other than the whole cast got a free holiday. It wasn't needed at all, and could have been filmed anywhere. Some of the accents were laughable and some of the acting from the ones that did genuinely sound like they were from Moscow was pretty appalling, so it begs the question why they chose it to film their entire film there.
I'm not really going to go into the story much more other than to tell you it involves a nuclear submarine, Russian men on horses with chainmail all over, men with flare guns that looks like something they picked up from the wardrobe department of Ghostbusters and some pretty predictable endings...........
I can't quite work out why on earth I stuck with this film. The first half an hour seemed promising, like it could actually go somewhere, but it turned into a complete cheese fest with okay CGI, appalling (and pretty irritating) acting, complete with a scene where Sean gives a speech about doing it for mankind and it actually has weepy music playing in the background. Give me strength.
Quite an entertaining film, it just seemed to massively miss the mark somehow, the casting was atrocious and resulted in some pretty awful acting. The four main characters weren't likeable in any way shape or form and were pretty irritating actually. Given that this is a life or death situation and there are freaky alien things chasing them through Moscow, they seemed to have no volume control or ability to speak quietly, or ability to evade being seen (ducking down would have satisfied me, but no!), something which thoroughly annoyed me as it just made it quite unrealistic. The effects are most likely what carried the film to the profits that it made. I've just found this online which pretty much just sums up everything I thought 'The film was criticized for having a "flat lining screenplay and the absence of even a single compelling character" as well as for being "a depressing failure of imagination"'.
Running for 89 minutes, it actually felt much longer than that.
Release Date: 13th January 2012, it's currently showing on Sky Movies if you really want to waste 89 minutes of your life. If you are even more mental and wish to actually part with money for this horrendous film then it will be released on DVD in May!
Currently holds 12% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Summary: 2 stars