Who knew that sci-fi films were allowed to be set outside New York City? Every timeworn trope of the ‘alien invasion’ genre beloved of Cold War screenwriters has hurdled the Iron Curtain and descended on Moscow for The Darkest Hour, a virtually irredeemable mess of contrived clichés, crap CGI and Cyrillic cignage. And some things that don’t begin with C (as well as some others that do which we can’t mention here – looking at you, Bekmambetov).
When it was first announced that David Fincher, best known for such meditations on violence as Seven and Fight Club, had taken up directorial reins on a film about the founding of Facebook, it’s fair to say that some film fans found themselves confused. Why had Fincher attached himself to such a potential snoozefest? Well, now we have the answer. With a story driven by sharp dialogue and an unrelenting pace, The Social Network is anything but boring. A beautifully acted character study, it asks real questions about the nature of business, friendship and loyalty – and we don’t just mean online.