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:: The Darkest Hour

It’s a shame but The Darkest Hour becomes yet another film that ends up on that ‘frustrating’ pile of films. Storywise and visually The Darkest Hour works well but sadly it is let down by some really poor dialogue and the fact that you never really get a chance to ‘connect’ with the main characters.

Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) have arrived in Moscow about to sign the deal of a lifetime. But when they realise they have been screwed over by Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) they decide to drown their swallows by hitting one of the hippest nightclubs in town. It is here that they run into fellow Americans, Natalie (Olivia Thirlby) and Anne (Rachael Taylor). But soon there fun is interrupted by an invasion of alien beings that are mostly invisible to the human eye.

It’s hard to believe that somewhere during the making of this film that somebody didn’t pull aside director, Chris Gorak and say ‘eh…mate can we get this dialogue re-written’. Some of the things the central characters say are really obvious, while the poor old Russian characters are given lines that are almost laughable.

And it’s a shame that the film is like that because the premise of aliens attacking that you can’t see is brilliant… it is the kind of psychological torment that audiences love to see. Gorak shows that he does have talent as a director; his shots of a post-Apocalyptic Moscow are great, while the special effects where humans are devoured by the aliens does look pretty good.

You also have to feel sorry for the cast. Hirsch, Minghella, Thirlby and Taylor. They do a good job with what they have, but the poor blighters were not only given lame dialogue to deliver but also had no room for their characters to develop. The situation the four find themselves in should have given the screenwriters plenty of opportunity to work with group dynamics (especially considering the boys are trapped with someone that just ripped them off) as well as exploring how each character was personally affected by what was going on around them… but in the end the audience was given nothing.

The Darkest Hour is worth seeing just for some of the pretty decent shots that are in it and because this is one time where the filmmakers create some suspense by not being afraid to kill off main characters. Ultimately though, it becomes just an average sci-fi movie that seems to have only surfaced to keep the teens happy during the school holidays.