Review: Skyline


Oh my God

You’ll hear the words “oh my god” throughout Skyline, as characters stare into some bright light off-screen, amazed, stupefied, awestruck by what they’re seeing.

Rarely will you ever feel that sensation in watching this film.

This could have functioned as an interesting look to where independent film production could be heading. Directed by The Brother’s Strause and produced by their FX company Hydraulx, they’ve worked on a string of CG films including Avatar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and 2012.

The story, is a very simple one and concerns a couple, Jarrod and Elaine (played by Eric Balfour and Scottie Thompson) invited to Los Angeles by an old college friend (Donald Faison) for a birthday party where they find themselves in the midst of an alien invasion. It’s not original but some fun could have been had in the premise. In light of the budget ($20 million), the visual effects are very good, but the rest of the film is terribly derivative and devoid of any ideas.

Reminiscent of other entries in the ‘alien invasion’ genre, this borrows inspiration from all over the place (the aliens look like The Collectors from Mass Effect). Some of these nods to other films may be intentional, but the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ hangs over the film.

It could have been a fun, nonsensical ride but it only succeeds as nonsense. The dialogue is risible with some of the silliest lines you’ve heard all year. In one situation their attempts to convince each other over the best course of action sound shallow and shrill.

I can’t quite tell if the film wants to take itself seriously or is a cheesy sci-fi B-movie. The characters are fodder for the aliens to trample, impale or blast away and you’re happy to see them go. The main characters, characters we’re meant to have a connection to, never rise beyond mediocrity. The film is horribly predictable too. It’s a litany of shoddy and lazy elements.

There other elements that never gel. In one instance the men stay up as lookouts while the women sleep. Why? Because they’re women? Another instance sees a nuclear bomb goes off but there’s barely any damage crater. Characters’ survive implausible scenes which the film wants get a laugh from and yet its totally preposterous and not in a good-bad way. It’s a formulaic, non-entity of a movie.

Skyline ends up being a forgettable experience, a film you’ve seen before in various other guises and done better. It’s ineffective, shallow and never grabs your attention fully.



Posted on 22/11/2010, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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