The Dullest Hour would be a more fitting summation of Chris Gorak’s special effects-laden thriller, which witnesses a devastating alien attack from the perspective of five young people trapped in Moscow.
Images of the deserted Russian capital are chilling, but screenwriter Jon Spaihts doesn’t have a good ear for dialogue, his characters are two-dimensional and the creature design – sour-faced trolls in spinning, electrified orbs – is not the visual effects department’s finest hour.
Aspiring internet entrepreneurs Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) fly thousands of miles at their own expense to sell their online tourist guide to the Russians with the help of their Swedish business partner, Skylar (Joel Kinnaman), who rips them off and steals the intellectual property.
Sean and Ben drown their sorrows at the fashionable Zvezda Nightclub. The party reaches a crescendo just as Moscow is hit by a blackout and the alien invasion begins.
The Darkest Hour starts promisingly but boredom surfaces soon after the aliens begin culling the extras. Genuine emotion doesn’t trouble Hirsch, Minghella and co as the film wheezes and splutters from one lacklustre set piece to the next.
Plot information is clumsily delivered by characters who seem incapable of remembering their own name let alone distilling the finer points of the electrical resistivity of glass. “Teamwork makes the dream work!” chirps Sean. Sweet dreams are not made of this nonsense.