...and the trouble she discovers.
When I was first introduced to Skyline in early 2010 my immediate thought was “AWESOME!” What a great follow up to District 9; could there possibly be two great alien thrillers in two consecutive years? After the movies nation wide release reviews were widely negative and ticket sales were down. Like most of the ADD generation I quickly lost interest then forgot about the movie entirely. It wasn’t until a well placed Netflix Suggestion did I remember this box office bomb and decided to invite the DVD directly into my home.
Skyline is the simple story of two love birds (Eric Balfour as Jarrod and Scottie Thompson as Elaine) who fly to Los Angeles to visit Jarrods best friend Terry (Donald Faison). Terry is now a rich mogul of some sort (It’s never explained therefore it doesn’t matter) and invites Jarrod to move to LA by offering him a job. Elaine is very unhappy with this gracious gesture as she reveals the (not so) secret that she is pregnant. The lesson here is that pregnant people are unable to move. Okay, fine, the last sentence is completely untrue but I thought I’d make it up in lieu of that plot point not making much sense.
During the night, after a grand birthday party has ended, a bright light shines through the penthouse blinds. Elaine wakes up under the assumption that it’s already morning despite the fact that the light is blue. Quickly the condo population realizes that the glaring light is unnatural once an unlucky man looks directly into the bright sphere and promptly disappears. Chaos amongst the remaining people ensue as they wait for sunrise. Soon our gang of friends find that organically mechanical creatures, the size of buildings, are roaming the streets of LA looking for prey. The light they had seen the night before shines from flying matrix-like seekers which pull their victims in close then snatch them up for devouring. The survivors are left with the task of finding a way to safety while also staying alive. It’s not as easy as one might expect.
This movie has a severe distance issue. The audience is led to believe that the twenty story building in which our heroes call home and bunker is downtown LA yet when the alien invasion begins absolutely nothing is touched around home base. At one point a nuclear attack is launched against the mother ship however nothing of physical consequence happens to our onlookers except a vase falling off of an end table. After the mushroom cloud disperses and several of the characters make it to a roof top there are cloudless, sunny skies to be seen as inspirational music adds depth to their slow motion dives. Lastly; as an alien mounts the building and climbs to the now partially destroyed condo one of our second rate heroes stands close to the gaping hole. As the monster belches fire our protagonist stands un-singed by fire although he’s only a few feet away. It was a miracle brought down from heaven by the grace of God.
Eric Balfour just isn’t strong enough to carry a movie on his own nor are his supporting characters strong enough to actually support. Adding to the zero charisma Eric brings to the screen the insipid dialog and repeating of what’s actually occurring is maddening. The scenes between the films couple left something to be desired as there just isn’t enough of a connection to make an audience care. The scenes between them are vague and tired with nothing original to add to the narrative.
This flick just left me feeling jolted as though the director had something else in mind altogether yet this was the mess that was pieced together. Had the movie begun where it ended, a premise for a sequel I’m sure, I would have enjoyed this movie so much more. Since that’s not the case and this is what I was stuck with for 94 minutes I’m giving Skyline a huge Pass On It.
1.5 out of 5 stars.