THE TITLE of this teen disaster-by-numbers affair could not be more apt. Yes, it refers to the end of the world (remember that?), but it may as well be a collective omen for all those involved. Including – gasp – Australia’s rejuvenated Rachael Taylor.
The plot – super-slight as it is – follows a pair of cocky, naïve software geeks (Hirsch, Minghella), as they brashly jet to Moscow, to meet with their Russian business partners. Their product: a dating website (and obligatory app). Swiftly sidelined, they drown their sorrows in a nearby bar, where they meet two travelling mates (Thirbly, Taylor). Then, bang: mysteriously whispy, electrically charged aliens begin descending, all around them. (They’re after the earth’s minerals, as it turns out.) The green Americans must join forces with the wicked Ruskies, before it’s too late.
Effects best described as ‘cheap ‘n’ nasty’ are the order of the day here – with a script so cornball, it makes that other fresh teen outing, JOURNEY 2, feel like a beacon of hope. (Last week’s screaming throng in Sydney for that red carpet – a treat for film fans, at this time of year – spoke volumes.) There is a sense of relief to be had, but only as (some of) the main players are blasted to smithereens by the orange beasties. Even Taylor proves, here, to be worthy of alien annihilation.
The film’s director, Chris Gorak, was once banded as ‘one to watch’ by industry bible Variety, after his 2006 debut RIGHT AT YOUR DOOR had insiders buzzing. But the once-lauded art director (of MINORITY REPORT, FIGHT CLUB and FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS fame) appears to have fallen on hard times. This is, one imagines, an hour he too would rather forget.
Critical Rating: 1/10.
THE DARKEST HOUR is now showing in cinemas.
First published in The Sun-Herald.