OK, I lie. But Javert in the future, anyway. Just been to see In Time and it’s a very well done piece of proper SF with some involving action sequences and a tight cast of good actors. It’s one of those Big Concept pieces of SF (1), and the basic idea (that in the future time is currency – nobody ages, but after 25 if your time account runs dry, you die – cue enormous exploration of rich v poor, Occupy Big Ben etc.) is explored in countless ways throughout the film, to the extent that pretty much everything the director shows you reflects in some way on this idea. It’s a very good idea, go see. And Cillian Murphy’s cop is totally Javert.

It ties in some ways with a future blog piece I intend to do some time, in which I track my dirty fantasy feet into the august halls of SF to talk about the current utopia/dystopia split in the sort of SF I’m reading, which I think has some interesting patterns. Now I’ve mentioned these intentions I fully expect to be silenced by fantasy’s Big Brother for daring to open my vile elves-and-dragons-writing mouth about it :). Perhaps the Clarke award will send “The Hunter” after me for my temerity…

However, there’s SF and there’s SF, and what I really have to say in this blog post is directed at the trailer for The Darkest Hour. And what I say to it is, “Really, Darkest Hour trailer, really? Because that’s, like, the lamest alien invasion scheme since the Martians forgot to get their jabs, or maybe those other guys from that other film who were allergic to water, and came to one of the few places in the galaxy where it’s at.” (2)

Now bear in mind I’m working from the trailer only, here, so maybe the film makes sense of it. Many’s the trailer that fails to represent the film it’s publicising, although seldom does the trailer actually screw it over. So, what you’re saying, Darkest Hour trailer, is that the aliens have a three stage plan: 1. Invade, check. 2. Eat all the electricity, check. 3. Kill all life…. er, what now? So, hold on, invisible alien menace, where do you think all that yummy electricity comes from? Have you heard the goose/golden egg saying? Isn’t that like someone trying to secure a supply of hamburgers by wiping all cows from the face of the earth? Meh. Go back to your invisible spaceship and think it over. Just sign up with PowerGen or something.

And also – hold on, they eat electricity, but when they’re around, they make electric-powered things work, like lightbulbs and car radios and, apparently, trams (2=3). OK, that does make for a really nice sort of horror thing, where you can have lightbulbs going on as the equivalent of T-Rex’s ripples in the water, but isn’t that like them vomiting up their dinner everywhere they go? What sort of crazy-ass inefficient metabolism do these invisible aliens have, exactly? Yeah, I totally had those human kids, but then I chucked up so hard I made a tram go, and they got away?

(1) Children of Men is in the same sort of category, and one of my favourite films ever. Also see Equilibrium which, while it didn’t hit it off with me in the same way, has some really nice little touches exploring the whole “sensation” theme throughout the movie.

(2) I did not actually shout this out in the cinema, but I was thinking it pretty damn hard.

(3) Is this a spoiler? I don’t think it’s a spoiler if they put it in the trailer.

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