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A passable The Darkest Hour 

Moscow-set alien invasion thriller avoids cliche

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Big balls of invisible energy terrorize Moscow’s nightclub district in the familiar, but still fun, The Darkest Hour. Emile Hirsh (Speed Racer) and Olivia Thirlby (Juno) help lead a ragtag group of survivors past the destruction and towards rescue after the film shifts from initial invasion to apocalyptic survival story. Thankfully, the characters all but ignore cliches typical to this sort of end-of-the-world tale. They also meet kooky new friends along their route, which helps to keep the brisk film from becoming too boring. The budget-friendly look of the invisible aliens is laughable, but the invaders prove scary enough with their lightning whips and disintegration techniques. Plus the film gets some clever plot points out of their energy-form nature. The Darkest Hour isn’t essential viewing, but there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half.


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Vol 24, No 34
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