At first glance, The Darkest Hour looks like it should be a fun genre outing. I know the trailer had me intrigued. Being a science fiction and horror fan, how cold I not? The concept of alien invaders here to wipe us out while a small group of survivors try to avoid certain death and perhaps find a way to fight back is certainly nothing new. The funny thing is that is sounds a lot like the much derided Skyline, which I enjoyed for what it was. In execution, this is much along the same lines, with perhaps some War of the Worlds (Spielberg edition) mixed in for good measure. Fortunately, the familiar can still quite enjoyable, so long as it tries to bring something fresh, or at least fun, to the table.
As the story begins, a couple of would be software developers arrive in Moscow hoping to sell their social networking creation. They find they have been double crossed by a rival from Sweden. So, they go out to drown their sorrows at a nightclub where they meet a fellow American and her Brit friend, who happen to recognize them from their social networking website. They also find the Swede is at the same club, celebrating his ill-gotten gains. Before long they hear a ruckus outside. They all head outside to see these lights fall from the sky, land, and disappear
It turns out these lights are aliens with bad intentions. They have come to take our energy, but not before wiping out the majority of its population. Our world has been whittled down to a small group of survivors, comprised of the programmers, the ladies they meet, and the Swede. We follow them as they walk around and hide, run around and hide, and occasionally stop for some poorly executed exposition, you know, to make sure we get some idea of the story.
I don't know. I like the idea and the setup, but when I comes right down to it, this is a silly movie where logic does not belong. There is some terrible dialogue and scenes that defy explanation. They set up rules for the creatures but then break them, never really settling on what they are. There is also, the random, exposition heavy visit to Mr. Sergei, the Russian electrician in the Faraday cage, that just feels a little out of place. Still, I have to say the biggest stretch of believability is when they all get dumped in a river, later in the movie, only to find one of their own missing and when she turns up, she is pretty far inland and a good distance from the water. How that happened is a big head scratcher.