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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Movie Review - The Darkest Hour (Dawn)

The Darkest Hour is the new sparsely designed alien invasion flick featuring a lot of places to hide: basements, glass-panels, cars, frequency-padded apartments. The world is besieged by invading aliens — who look like decapitated floating heads with tentacles — and seem to prove Stephen Hawking’s theory that aliens would invade Earth for a quick stopover for an energy refill.

Unlike regular Hollywood features, we’re stranded in Moscow — a reason, I suppose, to do with producer Timur Bekmambetov (director Wanted) and the budgetary cost-effectiveness for foreign films produced in Russia.

We focus on a set of lonesome foursome (Emile Hirsh, Max Minghella, Rachel Taylor and Olivia Thrilby) that meet in a bar and then experience the strange: flickering specs of energy gliding down in wholesale quantities over Moscow and sucking up the city’s supply of electricity. The flickering specs then land, disappear into thin air, and start to de-particle the city’s population. The four and a conniving entrepreneur Skyler (Joel Kinnaman) hide inside a supply room for four days and finally muster the courage to surface into a people-less, smashed-up Russia — courtesy of adequately used CGI.

Director Chris Gorak (previously an Art-Director, who debuted with Right at Your Door), decides to stay away from the reason of the unseen alien’s attack, which, if we’re to guess is cultivation of Earth’s natural resources — a theme milked in almost all recent alien-attack movies such as Battle: Los Angeles and Skyline.

The Darkest Hour has enough fodder to fuel a direct-to-dvd franchise for years, an indication of the film’s true potential. It also looks and moves more as a videogame, than a feature film. But that might be a plus.

Most of the 83 minute running-time runs like a series of missions of a next-gen Playstation title, with the difficulty level set to easy. Dash, slink, jump, hide, find supplies, gain additional forces and finally out fox and kill the invisible enemy with a wave-emitting shock-gun. A game version, perchance featuring the same plot as the film, is out right now.

Released by Summit, 20th Century Fox and Mandviwalla Entertainment, The Darkest Hour is rated PG-13. It is currently playing in Pakistani cinemas.

Mohammad Kamran Jawaid is the resident film critic at Images on Sunday, who writes an exclusive Second Opinion based film review column “Animadversion”.

Source (Kopi Pasta): Dawn
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