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Monday, January 16, 2012

Review : The Darkest Hour

The movie was not worth the money we spent on the tickets, add to it the cost popcorn and sweetened water called coke I felt very sad losing double of it. Alien invasion, widespread panic and an ending in dystopia, the movie promised a pulp fun and the action junkie in me needed some food for thought. Here is what I felt post the trauma.

Sean and Ben visit Moscow to pitch for their 'original' idea of a social mobile app that would connect travelers sharing their review of places they visit. They end up defrauded by an opportunist liaison who had lured them with dreams of big money and early retirement. Sean is an eternal optimist while Max tends to be a semi-realist. Reality strikes when they enter the meeting room only to be confronted by an already started one lead by Skyler. They find themselves duped for being naive to have not worked with an NDA(non-disclosure apathy?). Having met with the incident that saw their hopes and dreams raise up in thin air they both try to find solace with alcohol, and enter a fancy bar.

Here is where they meet Natalie and Anne, young ladies travelling from America who also happen to use their app in beta stage who also happen to be gorgeous who also happen to be haggled by monstrous Russians in need of plan B*. They meet up and start getting to know each other when all of a sudden the power shuts down. Everyone comes out to the streets where they are presented with a beautiful art in the sky resembling the northern lights(Aurora Borealis). Little do they know that the lights disintegrate and reach the ground only to vaporize anything it touches(even the speeding bullet from the policeman). Panic strikes in and everyone flees to safety. Skyler shuts the door down leaving his date to be killed by the forces to which he explains as the act of survival of the fittest. The director did try to push some sanity into the story. But little did WE know that it was all the sanity the story had.

The five survivors (Sean, Ben, Natalie, Anne and Skylar) gets holed up in the kitchen of the bar they were partying, feeding on whatever they could. They come out after three days only to find the incident had been widespread and everyone around had been killed. They also face the reality that the entire world had been invaded and whether their wish to go back home is still possible as they ponder what Home meant anyway. The group meet Russian police and learn the invasion was to rob the world off it's minerals(V-the visitors anyone?). Slowly they begin to learn about the invasion, the aliens who insulate themselves inside a force field, narrowly escaping from one's sight in the smallest interval possible even without looking at it. As the film watcher is put to these misery, we are shown how easily the group finds the way to track them using light bulbs and another lucky event by which they learn the invader's sight is obstructed by glass.

After getting impatient of being holed up and wanting to find fellow survivors, the group loses Skylar during the roam while they find Vika and the 'home electrician or a plumber' Sergei who has enough knowledge to construct a Faraday Cage that insulates them from the aliens. He also shows his invention, an untested high energy microwave beaming gun positioning them to be the first 'Alien Invaders'. Things begin to get cocky and boring after which the director in dire need of drama kills the beautiful Natalie(how she get their hairdo and mascara even after holed up by a widespread panic is only be conceived by the director - image to your left) and Sergei and his overweight cat which he sings to. The surviving three meet another group of fighters and the movie ends with a high note of the group reaching a submarine leaving for the States and finding that a group in Paris had managed to destroy one of the alien mining towers.

Some have called the film to be `lacking in imagination` and not having a strong story line. I liked the director for being true to us viewers to present a tag like 'Survive the holidays'. It appealed to me that he was betting on the sanity of the viewer's life after watching a crap as this. I will not end the review with just bashing. There is one positive note I took back, that the aliens can be intelligent(power insulation), fast and not be egg heads. The director has searched the other end of galaxy that Stephen Speilberg, Ronald Emmerich and James Cameron for the inspiration which also proves the negative effect he had on me as opposed to the geniuses above.

One of the main reasons I wanted to watch the movie was the cast. Apart from the mental drool I had over Rachel Taylor, I've watched the amazing performance by Olivia Thirlby on The secret and more recently in the massive hit - Juno. Emile Hirsch has proved again that he has little intelligence in selecting movies after his run with The speed racer. Max Minghella acts averagely as he had done on 'The social network' and theres nothing new here. All in all a movie to be missed.

Genre : Fiction/alien-invasion
Positives : Graphics, the aliens themselves
Negatives : Everything but the two positives
Rating : 3/10

Please 'Survive the holidays' by not wasting your money and time on this movie. How bad I felt to have made the decision after finding no shows for the highly rated Tinker taylor soldier spy.