Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour
Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirby, Max Minghella, Rachael Taylor and Joel Kinnaman

Rated: PG-13  
Reviewed by: Frank  
Release date: December 25, 2011 Released by: Summit

Set in Moscow with Russian support The Darkest Hour, is a science fiction film that places five young folks against electrified Aliens who zap humans and turn them into gray dust. The rush to safety by the five has the feel of a zombie adventure with aliens picking off humans at every corner.

Filmed in Moscow we see the city streets and monuments as charges of electricity looking like tentacles from a van der graaf generator spread high voltage which kills everyone it touches. The streets eventually are filled with crashed vehicles and airplanes that most of the time are on fire.

Sean (Hirsch) and Ben (Minghella) argue about stopping Sean's play with the video game "Dora the Explorer" as their flight approaches Moscow. With the warning from the flight attendant that the game could be dangerous the first hint of danger comes as the flight looses power.

When a business deal falls through the guys go out on the town and pick up two American girls, Natalie (Thirby and Taylor) in a "hot" bar. During that visit the Aliens strike leaving Moscow with streets empty of human presence. While the special effects are not bad, much of the film takes place through ordinary runs from buildings to cellars and in streets and over destroyed bridges.

The actions of the group are a little smarter than most films in which the entity or killer peels off the characters one at a time, they decide to stay together, but over time the adhesive of the group fails.

Eventually we learn the Aliens are mining precious metals, stealing them from the ground like thieves who rob copper roofs on abandoned buildings.

With help from a Russian electrician, the group develops a gun that strikes back at the demons, by then Anne (Taylor) can't hold still and wanders off while the others fight on. The gun helps and knowledge of how to find protection allow a small number to survive, but only after Natalie plays the driver of a bus like Sandra Bullock in Speed.

As the credits run with the song "Corliss Loves Boris" the beginning scene of a sequel fills the screen.

  Frank Chris Jim Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Darkest Hour  B-      D+         D-         C- 

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