THE DARKEST HOUR 3D (2011) Review

Directed by: Chris Gorak
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella

Well I can't say that I actually expected this to be a good movie after watching the trailer. However the current line-up at my local theatre is so bad that THE DARKEST HOUR 3D seemed to be the best choice. It was either this or Happy Feet 2, and now I'm thinking that it probably would have been a better idea to go see the latter instead.
And before I get to the actual review there's something I need to say. I have nothing against 3D movies. If people want to watch them that's fine, as long as people like me have the option of watching them in regular old 2D. Unfortunately the local theatre didn't offer that option.

A pair of software developers arrive in Moscow to pitch their newest idea which they're convinced will make them multi-millionaires. Unfortunately they are beaten by a rival who has stolen their idea and is pitching it himself just as they walk in. So they do the only sensible thing by going to some sort of trendy nightclub to drown their sorrows. They not only run into their software stealing friend Skyler, but also a couple of attractive girls. Maybe things are starting to look up! Or not. Suddenly the nightclub is plunged into darkness and everybody finds themselves outside. There is some strange sort of Aurora Borealis type phenomenon going on in the sky and strange orange balls of energy are drifting down to the ground. Everybody stands back except for one brave (or stupid) police officer who decides to get a little closer. He is instantly vaporized. Everybody runs around in a panic, and our main characters find themselves locked inside some kind of storeroom. After a week of waiting it's finally time for them to venture outside and see just what the fuck is really going on.

There are a couple of refreshing elements to this movie, namely the location and the enemy. Rather than being a familiar location such as NYC or Los Angeles or Tokyo the choice has been made to set this in Moscow, Russia. The aliens aren't something you normally see either, mainly because you hardly get to see them at all. They are invisible for the most part except for the brief orange flashes of energy they emit and the fact that anything electrical lights up like a Christmas tree if they go near it. This actually adds another little twist to the film in the form of night travel being safer than day travel.
So the movie isn't a complete piece of shit, but as far as the good points go I really can't think of anything else. Everything else was below average or just downright terrible. The script was ridiculous, the characters were idiots, the acting was sub-par and the CGI was made-for-TV quality. And of course the 3D aspect was pointless as usual. There were one or two scenes which incorporated 3D but other than that there was just no reason for it.

Save your money and avoid THE DARKEST HOUR. You could certainly do worse, but you could definitely do a hell of a lot better. 
And don't be fooled by Timur Bekmambetov's production credit.

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