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Skyline (2010): You'll be standing in line for a refund

Ever look up at the sky and wonder if there might be life out there? Inter-galactic life that we don’t know about? Yeah, me too and about a ka-zillion other people. Many of whom who have made only about one or two films in our history communicating what their imagination says about life from another planet. Another set of people/filmmakers, Colin & Greg Strause (aka The Strause Brothers), have chosen to call their alien imagination Skyline. An imagination they might have done better to try to communicate through a comic book or not at all perhaps than on the legendary big screen.

Set in Los Angeles, Skyline tells the science fiction tale of two long-time friends, Jarrod & Terry (Eric Balfour & Donald Faison). Jarrod and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) travel across the country to visit Terry who is a well known special effects producer and is celebrating his birthday. When they arrive, everything is going well and everyone is enjoying the partying, alcohol, music, blah blah blah. Sometime during the night, mysterious blue streaks of light begin falling from the sky. They illuminate the entire the city and draw any and every random spectator towards it. Once seeing the strange but beautiful blue light, one can’t help but be pulled in. People lose all sense of control over their bodies and only seek a way to get closer to it.

The story is told from the perspective of Jarrod, Terry, Elaine and a few other survivors after the initial attack. It’s pretty much the same usual content that is contained in all post-disaster films. Characters panic, scream, and try to find a path out of harm’s way all the while arguing and threatening each other. Secrets are revealed and feelings are hurt during the frenzy and not knowing what exactly is going doesn’t help the matters any.

To be honest I had a feeling that this film wasn’t going to be worth much but I had no idea it wouldn’t be worth this much. Aside from the visual effects, the film is lacking in many departments. Story, plot, character development, climax, and writing just to name a few. After discovering that there wouldn’t be much more than a rapid fire array of special effects, I was merely just waiting for this one to end. The interaction between the characters had to be possibly the most annoying aspect of the film. They couldn’t make a decision and were unable to agree on almost anything if their life depended on it. Usually I would say something like “this film had potential to do so much more”. Especially whenever it comes to the many different opinions regarding anything that has to do with aliens and invasions. But this film lost its’ potential about 10 minutes into it. The absolute best thing about this movie was the gorgeous Brittany Daniel who always gets a positive vote from me.

The Strause brothers actually almost faced some legal action from Sony for apparently agreeing to work on a film due out next year with a very similar premise. But instead released their own work that they managed to film in about two months. If visual effect heavy movies are your forte, then you might, and I use that word loosely, appreciate some of the scenes in this one. But the complete lack of everything else fails to make up for this. Perhaps the planned sequel will do that but I wouldn’t hold my breath on it. I give Skyline “2.5 reasons not to go towards the light out of 5”.

“I hate L.A.”


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