Another Apocalyptic Venture…

[Rating: 1.5]

Director: Chris Gorak

Star Cast: Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella, Joel Kinnaman, Dato Bakhtadze, Yuriy Kutsenko

Synopsis: Visionary director Timur Bekmanbetov (Wanted, Nightwatch) produces this 3-D action thriller about a band of young jet-setters in Moscow who live through an unexplained global catastrophe and then struggle to survive against an unknown alien threat as they try to escape the once vibrant metropolis. A hot young cast starring Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby headline this post-apocalyptic thriller.

Review: Its the year 2012, and according to the Mayans, the world is coming to an end. If we were to go by that… can we please have some movies with good enough stories to make one smile at the end of it all rather than continuously harping on that same point over and over again? As though Apocalypse is now a trend!  As much as the trailers looked promising for this newest offering in this "genre", the final product is very disappointing. 

So, the film starts with how these two geeks come to Moscow to sell their idea about a Social Networking site to a company only to find that their rival has already used the same idea and passed it off as his own. Shattered, the guys head to the hottest nightclub in town to drown their sorrows and scan out 2 American PYTs (don’t miss that, Americans in Moscow looking for fellow Americans to flirt with). Well, as the night passes, they strike! They who? We don’t know… because it wasn’t explained, throughout the approximate 90 minute running time of the film. Okay, granted… one is fighting death (apocalypse) so cannot be expected to rationally analyze who is trying to kill him/her? When thought in retrospect, it was plain ridiculous or perhaps sheer laziness on the writer’s part because I definitely would not fault the action director and the special effects crew. They did a satisfactory job in portraying the invisible invaders as much as showing the collapsing buildings amongst other destructive elements. 

Coming to the actors, as I mentioned before, are young Americans trapped in Moscow… the many locales in the United States were perhaps getting too repetitive? And what is with the girls always caked up with makeup even when crisis strikes? Like in the case of Amy… while Natalie did a good enough job of shielding herself while continuing to show the right amount of emotions. And the boys, Ben and Sean both were satisfactory in their assigned roles. However, Ben was last seen in "The Social Network" doing almost the same thing as he did now in this film. Sean is the super-human, he is everybody’s saviour and manages to save himself too, submarining away into happiness and safety. 

Few positives – The special effects, the alien’s descent (which looked like a floating/ sky lantern display, nonetheless beautiful) – also because I believe the filmmakers were talking about the atmospheric electrical phenomenon called Ball Lightning, the scene with the illuminated bulbs on the floor.

The negatives – The very lazy script, unexplained events, the weird logic that these aliens cannot see through glass (?),  it’s a world-wide phenomenon so why were the rest of the parts of the world ignored? The funny sequence of a bus operated by the alien. I shall refrain from divulging anything more lest it should spoil the SURPRISE for you. 

Verdict: Since there aren’t very many movies releasing this week, you can just watch this one for a few light-hearted moments in this apocalyptic film.

Saumya Sharma

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