Friday, November 12, 2010

Not every Skyline has a silver lining...

I love sci-fi, but you really should save your money rather than go see Skyline at the cinema. Unfortunately it's one of those films where the trailer and billboards are cooler than the actual movie.
Skyline spaceship movie billboard
The concept of alien invaders literally sucking up humans into the hold of their spacecraft is a great start, but there's not much more to this movie.

In fact the film starts off dramatically with some alien blue lights trying to abduct one of the lead characters, played by Eric Balfour (of 24 and Six Feet Under TV fame), then abruptly flashbacks fourteen or so hours and that's when it totally grinds to a halt and the cracks begin to surface.
Skyline movie poster
Aside from the flashy computer generated alien monsters and spaceships, the budget isn't spent on much else as most of the film takes place in an apartment complex in Marina Del Ray, and it shows. Apart from hiding from spacecraft sucking humans up in funky blue tractor beams or running from other alien machines, the story never really progresses.

I'm not even sure if anyone actually even says 'alien invasion', as if the filmmakers wanted to ground it so much in reality, even though it's clear as day this isn't a terrorist attack.Skyline film billboard
Skyline feels like Cloverfield focusing on a small group of characters, without the shakey-cam and without the characterisation (or production values). Most of the actors are just cannon-fodder to have their brains harvested and the rest have cliched emotional triggers like jealousy, or an unwanted pregnancy storyline to make us try and care.

When the cast finally get out of the penthouse apartment and engage in some implausible fighting, there are more than a few groan inducing scenes and action set pieces. Rather than try not to look at the blue light to prevent getting sucked up into the hold of an alien spaceship, it almost hurt to watch the big screen to see what predictable cliche came next.
Skyline Don't Look Up poster
The finale aboard the spacecraft takes such a huge leap from down-to-earth reality to over-the-top sci-fi (with creations reminiscent of The Matrix machine world), that it's so jarring you think that two separate scripts have been mashed together.

Rather disappointingly this is definitely one film to save your cash and wait for the DVD. Sadly I give Skyline two ** stars.

This really hasn't been the best year for movies so far...

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