Monday, 9 April 2012

The Darkest Hour, dir. Chris Gorak, wr. Jon Spaihts, st. Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella, Joel Kinnaman

It's a bit of a shame that Timur Bekmambetov seems to have been on something of a downward trajectory since 2004's stylish supernatural thriller Night Watch and its sequel Day Watch, both inventive and unique additions to the genre. But then came Wanted in 2008, a paper-thin comic-book actioner in which Angelina Jolie gets to look sexy-fine as she curves bullets around corners, and later still, last year's tedious and unscary Apollo 18. This limp sliver of science fiction shamelessly plagiarises from a host of alien-invasion films so lazily it's downright disrespectful. With gaping plot holes as large as downed jet-airliners and GCSE Devised Practical Exam-dimensoned characters, it doesn't have a whole lot going for it. The CGI is tidy and it often looks the part - and at $30m, so it should - but it weirdly oscillates between wanting to be a big Hollywood blockbuster and 80s-era BBC Tripods-style hokum. The result is terribly uneven and misguided. When you perk up at main characters buying it at the hands of the electrically-tentacled intruders, it's probably not a good sign. Most worryingly, Kinnaman, whom I thought was rather good as Holder in AMC's The Killing, and next up as the metalled one in the new Robocop reboot, turns in an embarrassingly overwrought performance, and meanwhile, writer Jon Spaihts has just finished the Alien prequel Prometheus with Damon "I'm Just Making It Up As I Go Along" Lindelof, which judging by the trailers, looks great, but might end up like this - an unpolished but glitter-rolled turd.