Review: Skyline

2010/11/13 21:34:58 +00:00 | Jonathan James

If you went into Skyline expecting anything but a cheesy B-movie alien invasion, you were crazy. I’ve read comments from people expecting this to be the next District 9 or a blockbuster like Independence Day. Remember that this was directed by The Brothers Strause. Yes, the same Brothers Strause that directed Aliens vs Predator Requiem. If you watched the trailers and knew who was in the cast, it was pretty clear what this movie was trying to be.

Having seen the trailer and knowing which actors were involved, I expected a B-movie that was light on substance and big on special effects, and that is exactly what I got.

Skyline follows Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) who fly to Los Angeles for a friend’s (Donald Faison) birthday party. While staying the night, they find themselves in the middle of an alien invasion, where most of the population has been abducted. The movie focuses on the main cast’s attempts to hide and escape from these alien invaders.

The main selling point and the most interesting aspect of Skyline is the special effects. The Brothers Strause may not be the greatest directors, but their Hydraulx visual effects company has worked on Iron Man 2, Avatar, 300, and dozens of other movies. All of the ships and creatures look fantastic and help keep you interested for the 90+ minute running time. Regardless of the many faults this movie has, the digital effects during initial invasion and creature attacks kept your interest.

The weakest point of the movie is definitely the plot. There are characters and plotlines that aren’t fully explained, resolved, or necessary. One such instance is that it took over 48 hours for the military to launch a counter attack. Prior to that time, you didn’t see any military presence in the SECOND MOST POPULATED CITY IN THE COUNTRY. As someone who has seen countless zombie and alien invasion movies, I was bothered by plot problems such as this, even with my B-movie expectations.

The actors may not have had much to work with, but they didn’t help things along either. Most of the reactions to aliens invading the planet were unconvincing and unrealistic. I didn’t care for many of the characters and many of the actors didn’t seem like they cared either. The exception here is David Zayas (Dexter, The Expendables, Oz), who I really enjoy as a character actor and it is obvious that he isn’t treating this as a serious acting role. His character is cheesy, the acting is cheesy, but he’s the only actor I enjoyed watching during the movie.

Of course, we have to talk about the ending here. For those that have not seen the movie, at the end there is a pretty big twist. I’m sure there will be some who hate it, but I really enjoyed the ending. It was unexpected and didn’t really make any sense, but again, it was good B-movie fun. It would have been interesting to see them cut 10-15 minutes out of the beginning character development and add it to the end of the film so we could see what happened. The movie is set up for a sequel, but I would have rather seen them go for broke and put everything into this movie.

What you think of Skyline will greatly depend on your expectations going in. Make no mistake, this is not a good movie. In fact, it is a pretty terrible movie, but it is entertaining and fun if you go in with the right mindset. I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but if you love old cheesy sci-fi movies, or SyFy channel movies, you’ll be entertained. I watched the movie in a group, we laughed the whole way through, and we got exactly what we were expecting.

1.5 / 5 Stars