‘Skyline’ Movie Review from Cinema Static

by on March 19, 2011

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Skyline, created by The Brothers Strause, (Colin & Greg), is a movie populated with pretty people and phenomenal alien effects.  It seems that a script was tossed together around these two ingredients instead of the other way around.  It had a cast of shallow characters under the duress of an alien invasion of Earth.  Actually, I think this movie would have made a wonderful Saturday night movie on the Syfy channel rather than something originally intended for the silver screen.

'Skyline' movie poster

Skyline goes straight to it and opens with the beams of light coming down out of the sky and our cast of characters being assailed by the alien technology.  We then flash back to the day before when our characters come together and we get an eyeful of the eye candy as they “hit the pool.”

The cast includes Eric Balfour, Scottie Thomspon, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins, David Zayas and Donald Faison.  The Strause Brothers directed and produced the script that was written by Joshua Cords & Liam O’Donnell.

I have to say that despite my enjoyment of alien filled movies, this movie is light on the motivation for either characters or aliens.  The narrative, limited.  There’s no sort of real origins or mythology of anyone or anything explained.  It was purely just a moment of 90 minutes.

Cookie cutter scenes of the motherships descending out of the storm clouds, dead and unengaged character banter didn’t do anything to help maintain a curiosity for the characters.

Almost every scene that could have created a ‘surprising, whoa!’ moment was in the movie trailers.  Flippant & illogical moments and conversation was near comical.  Examples:  The world is being ripped asunder by huge, aliens and one character is freaked about being exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke because she’s pregnant.  A nuclear missile doesn’t kill the mother ship or its occupants, but one character picks up a fire ax to fend them off?  Or a handgun that can rattle out 19 rounds? (Yes, I count rounds).

Even though many scenes reminded me of The Matrix and Independence Day, there were some highlights from the film that I found notable!

I loved the aliens themselves, despite feeling familiar.  Or the moments when we were shown that a social network had no updates since the invasion began.  I loved the “I hate L.A.” quote.  Though barely used, the premise of people being sucked up into the ships was creepy cool.

Without mentioning details, the ending left me jaw-dropped, and that wasn’t in a good way.  It ended with a scene that was mid-stride and finished it moment from the scene via stills in the end credits.  I thought for a second they were selling toys from the movie when they started showing the stills.  Seriously?  Did we run out of time and this is how they resolved a movie-ending fight?  I am not even going to waste the time talking about how they got to that final scene.  My “brain” hurts trying to recall it.

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As much as I wanted to see Eric Balfour have a breakout moment, this technically, wasn’t it.  The reason I felt this fell flat was the complete lack of experience behind the creative team with writing movies.

The Strause Brothers primary resume fillers are for visual effects in movies like Battle: Los Angeles, Jonah Hex, Iron Man 2, Avatar and other blockbuster movies.  The team who pulled together the screenplay also have backgrounds in everything but writing…

Joshua Cordes’ background consists of being an animation supervisor for films such as Iron Man 2 & Avatar while Liam O’Donnell’s resume consists of a being a visual effects consultant for AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem.

As you can see, the entire creative team behind Skyline are visual effects masters.  Yes, I’ll say masters.  Their resumes speak for themselves, but there’s little in the way of screenplay successes there.

In this case, I can’t really disagree with the IMDb score of 4 for Skyline.  I’m not even sure this movie was worth the rental fee I just paid for it… but I do recommend it if and when it comes on TV.  It would be a great popcorn movie, if the popcorn isn’t too expensive.  I’m sure FX will pick it up and riddle it with lots of very loud ads within the year.  In the meantime, I await for an Eric Balfour breakout movie.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Diane Knisley March 4, 2012 at 10:52 pm

What is opening going date going to be?
Thank you
Diane K.

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