Somebody had a great idea. This somebody looked at the end of 2011's film release slate and realized that the last two weeks of December were crowded with awards-grubbery, nothing but movies that were (kinda) good and (sorta) good for you. Christmas day, in particular, had an idiot-shaped hole in its heart that only a film like The Darkest Hour could fill. And B00M there goes The Darkest Hour getting itself scooped up out of its originally-intended January 2012 release date and deposited into the garbage-movie-starved world on December 25th, much like a stork drops a newborn on its head at your doorstep. And that is how babies are made.
Twenty years from now, stars Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Olivia Thirlby will have to pretend to think it's funny that the next generation latched onto this piece of brain-damage cinema as a rottenly hilarious cult film -- which is about electrical science monsters made of glo-sticks with a talent for evaporating the flesh of whatever they touch -- but for now let them enjoy the awesome Moscow tourism they experienced during the shoot.
When the film makes sense (aka almost never) it's about how some Russia-invasioning aliens need electricity to eat and how they will chase people and other animals around for no good reason since people aren't what they want to eat in the first place. I'm glad they chase the people and animals around, though, because that means that a lot of the stupid humans get volted to death and burst into gold glitter. It also means that whenever some dumb everyday object turns out to possess protective power (metal stuff, glass) you get to see characters quickly construct entire chain-mail vests out of door keys and hacked-together blast-guns that shoot microwaves and dissolve the electricity monster guys. There's even a horse decked out in metal parts, a rag tag band of Russian warriors who've assembled alien-fighting shields out of car parts and a cat covered in light bulbs. That cat's name is DJ Lance Rock. Like the guy on Yo Gabba Gabba. This is a terrific idea and a perfect cat name.
But it's the arrival of DJ Lance Rock The Cat that will shift your allegiance as an audience member. At first you're nominally on the side of Hirsch, Thirlby and Minghella, the Americans in Moscow accidentally caught up in the alien battle. Then for a long time after that you're on the side of the electricity monsters because they're cool and they dissolve stuff. But when the kitty wrapped in strings of lights comes along, you understand that the film should have been entirely about him and how he survives, via cat-point-of-view, the sudden confusion of aliens who couldn't care less about making sure his Fancy Feast is in the bowl. DJ Lance Rock The Cat should also have been the one to captain the getaway submarine. Yes, there's a getaway submarine in this movie. What if it were driven by a cat? Why shouldn't it be driven by a cat? No reason, right? That's right. It could totally happen, just as easily as anything else.