Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Dim Bulbs

The Darkest Hour: written by Jon Spaihts, Leslie Bohem, and M.T. Ahern; directed by Chris Gorak; starring Emile Hirsch (Sean), Olivia Thirlby (Natalie), Max Minghella (Ben) and Rachael Taylor (Anne) (2011): Bastard great-grandchild of John Wyndham's Day of the Triffids, The Darkest Hour even lifts the Wyndham novel's celestial lightshow that ushers in apocalyptic events.

A bunch of bland American visitors to Moscow (well, I think Rachael Taylor's character is either British or Australian, but as almost no characterization beyond the Marvel comic-book level occurs in this movie, it's pretty much moot) get caught in an invasion of lights from outer space. The lights disintegrate people and are pretty much invulnerable to all Earthly weapons. Or so it seems! Luckily, the aliens don't check the basement the visitors hide in. Huzzah!

Other stuff happens, including the revelation that the aliens are basically really greedy leprechauns from outer space. What is it with movie aliens and their new obsession with strip mining (see also the naked space leprechauns of Cowboys and Aliens)? And why do highly developed alien species never wear clothing? And I'm looking at you, too, E.T. Put some pants on!

The movie is short and vaguely watchable, with a few interesting visual effects. It's not bad enough to be fun very often, and not good enough to be good. Full-frontal nudity from Olivia Thirlby would have made things a lot more interesting. Not recommended.

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