Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Darkest Hour (2011)

This apocalyptic science fiction/alien invasion film begins with three Americans, a tall woman with an Australian accent, and a Swede with a bad goatee who are nearly the only survivors of an invasion of Moscow. [sarcastic sidenote: Because clearly the Moscvich wouldn't have a clue where to hide.]

The tone is muted and reminds me of earlier Asylum productions, which it resembles in dialogue as well, though Asylum films are less predictable. This film had brighter colors and much higher production values than Asylum films, and some of the imagery was remarkably picturesque. The aliens were frightening in a rather sanitized way, and even unique.

The plot required little science, which all seemed to be a variation on an ancient theme: [spoilers immediately ahead]

Aliens invade, all the token people of color die (even the English-speaking ones), the surviving white people discover the alien weakness and band together - developing sexual or romantic tension -, and the film ends with them bravely making a stand - usually while striking a pose.

Watch for a soldier who managed to make perfectly fitted chain mail out of house keys in less than two weeks, and very Tesla-esque light bulbs.

If you're looking for a plot hole, here's one: the aliens are looking for heavy metals and minerals, yes? So why do they come straight to earth - which is clearly, to quote Doctor Who, PROTECTED - ? Wouldn't they have first stopped at any one of a number of visible planets in the solar system or galaxy, and leave some trace? It's not like we don't monitor our astronomy. Sheesh.

Anyway, it's kind of pretty, and kind of fun, but don't set your expectations too high. Or, you know, anywhere at all, really.