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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Darkest Hour

April 17, 2012

This movie should be called “Attractive actors look around for invisible aliens while inadvertently promoting Moscow tourism.”

There is a saying that less is more. The Darkest Hour tried to do that with its plot about invisible aliens mining resources for dinner. This worked in horror films such as Jaws, Alien, Tremors and Predator. The problem with this film is the aliens are invisible, and you never see them until they turn people into ash. Thus, they never feel threatening because they are gold globs of shiny stuff.

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Since the bad guys are gold globs the poor actors had to spend much of the movie looking intensely into the distance.

Next to Skyline I think this is the best “looking at stuff” movie. Do actors practice method looking? If I landed a role in the The Darkest Hour 2 I would practice looking off into the distance while doing blue steel. That way, I can look great and aloof at the same time.  The best “looking at stuff” actor in this film is Emile Hirsch. I think he invented a new look. In this picture he is looking at people who are looking at stuff.

This movie is set up to show off the Russian sights. It is cool that Americans are now in Russia making movies. However, the movie consists of nothing more than actors looking scared. They also do everything they can to alert the aliens by yelling, shooting guns and knocking over every priceless vase imaginable. The poor decisions these attractive Americans make become increasingly frustrating because you’ve seen the actors in better movies. Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild), Max Minghella (Social Network) and Olivia Thirlby (Juno) are all smart actors who do dumb things while escaping Moscow.

You can’t blame them for being in this film. They signed up for an all expense paid trip to chill in Moscow. The language barrier must have been rough, and judging from this picture the director didn’t give them much direction. In my mind he is saying “look at that stereotypical vodka sign and grimace.”

The Darkest Hour is not a bad film. It is a perfect film to watch with friends. The movie is short, it moves along at a brisk pace, and you can have fun naming all the befuddled looks. What would you call this?

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