Dissecting Trailers: “The Darkest Hour”
by Kyle Anderson on August 25, 2011
If there’s one thing I love it’s trailers to movies that look absolutely bonkers. Last week, I saw the trailer for the movie The Darkest Hour. Let’s dissect it!
First, the trailer.
And let’s begin.
0:00 – 0:04: This has nothing to do with the actual film, but I always find it funny what the MPAA cites as reasons for rating movies the way they do. This is rated PG-13 for “Sci-Fi Action Violence and Some Language.” Apparently, science fiction violence is a lower degree of violence than other violence. And “SOME language?” Just a little bit, not a lot. So that’s the criteria for a PG-13 movie I guess. However, I just looked at “The Matrix” and it is rated R for “Sci-Fi Violence and Brief Language.” Yes, very different. Regardless….
0:04 – 0:10: This movie does not take place in America. Glad they got this outta the way early.
0:11 – 0:15: “Come to Moscow, city of lights and women and drinking and stuff.”
0:15 – 0:22: Americans are having fun! Nothing bad ever happens to Americans abroad. Ever! Certainly not if you’re the shy type who meets a cute girl who was Juno’s friend. No siree!
0:23 – 0:30: A lot of darkness. Might this be about the night that the lights went out in Moscow? The night that they hung an innocent человек?
0:31 – 0:33: Giant glowing bath sponges!
0:34 – 0:35: Unrelated glass shattering; must have been a sale at Macy’s.
0:36: “They are not from our world.” Ya think?
0:37 – 0:41: In Russia, aliens disintegrate YOU.
0:42 – 0:44: “They will not be stopped.” That’s a bit pessimistic, isn’t it? And unlikely. I doubt the entire movie will just be shots of people being disintegrated until they take over the entire planet.
0:45 – 0:48: Newsreaders in movies are always so calm. I’d be like, “Jesus FUCK, they’re absorbing all of our power supplies!! Oh, fuck we’re so screwed!! They’re gonna disintegrate me, I know it!! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” But, of course, I didn’t go to broadcasting school.
0:49 – 0:53: The tell-tale sign of any apocalypse: abandoned cars.
0:54 – 1:01: What resilient Americans we have as protagonists. One would have assumed at least one member of their party would have gotten disassembled.
1:02 – 1:04: Ah, there it is. Oh well. He was probably the jerky character anyway. I mean, look at the shoe that flies at the screen. Hey, is this a 3D movie? I really hope it’s not a 3D movie.
1:04 – 1:06: “Phase One: Seize the Planet.” That’s phase ONE? Seizing an entire planet is only the first phase? Seems like they’re skipping a few steps. Should be like “Phase Four: Go get a burger from Hardee’s, or Carl’s Jr., depending on where you are.”
1:07 – 1:12: Emile Hirsch says, “They can see us, but we can’t see them,” accompanied by an alien POV shot. How do we even know they have eyes? Maybe they feel warmth. I bet these creatures look down on Earthlings with our piddly little “Eyesight.” “Seeing” is such a terrestrial sense.
1:13 – 1:15: “Phase Two: Devour All Energy.” Seriously, it’s all big strokes with these guys. They’re like the Cookie Monsters of aliens.
1:15 – 1:19: A depiction of Phase Two, in case we didn’t trust the foreboding message.
1:20 – 1:22: “Phase Three: Destroy All Life.” If you’ve already seized the planet and devoured all energy, you pretty much have destroyed all life.
1:22 – 1:23: Oh, ALL life. Even the cute and fluffy kind. We won’t stand for this.
1:24 – 1:30: What very particular x-ray vision they have. So it can see the engine inside of a car, but it can’t see two guys crouching behind a car? Hey, they’re aliens; might make perfect sense on their planet.
1:31 – 1:35: They determine that the aliens cause electrical things to turn on, effectively giving them away. See, I feel like THAT should have been Phase One: “Do something about the one thing that can give us away BEFORE seizing the whole planet.”
1:36 – 1:48: Throwing light bulbs around to detect aliens isn’t the most practical method, but it is an interesting way to G-Cycle.
1:48 – 1:50: The lightning alien throws a bucket at the screen. Seems a little 3D-ish to me.
1:51 – 1:52: “Presented by the Visionary Director of WANTED.” It took me 4 times watching this trailer before I saw the word “Presented,” meaning Russian director Timur Bekmambetov did NOT direct the film. That’s tricky, Trailer. Very tricky.
1:52 – 1:56: Shooting at electricity is bound to work. That’s what Benjamin Franklin was going to do before he bought that kite.
1:57 – 1:59: A bazooka. Subtle.
2:00 – 2:05: “Courage” What have they got that you ain’t got? Well, the way they’re running, cringing, and getting dragged away by aliens, not much. “Survives” Well, it’s always nice to know that, even though the entire planet is destroyed, the concept of courage, as well as all copies of Courage the Cowardly Dog manage to survive the ordeal.
2:05 – 2:09: That’s actually just a planned demolition and has nothing at all to do with the aliens. Weird coincidence, though.
2:10 – 2:17: No, you fools, don’t get IN the bus, get BEHIND the bus! They’re sitting ducks. Not even pithy, unrealistic slang can save her now.
2:17 – 2:20: The Darkest Hour. I really like ambiguous titles for things. Not everything needs to be The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, even though only one person in that movie gets killed with a chainsaw. Regardless.
2:20 – 2:27: Oh, so it IS in 3D. Hmm, but it’s also in 2D. I love how they say, “Also available in 2D Theaters” like we’ve somehow forgotten that that’s how movies have been projected for a hundred fucking years. Plus, if recent box office failures have told us anything, it’s that 3D turns people away.
I’m quite intrigued by this trailer. It’s a different spin on an all-too familiar movie trope. Seriously, can we stop making alien invasion or zombie apocalypse movies for a while? Not forever, just for a while. But, yeah, The Darkest Hour looks like fun.
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