I have been hankering for a good science fiction movie for months now. When I heard about the picture that I’m about to review, I thought, “at last.” I was not just wrong, I was so far off base it isn’t funny.
The film is “Skyline”. It stars Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, David Zayas and Donald Faison. Okay, maybe the quality of the actors should have been the first clue that this movie wasn’t going to gel. But come on, there have been sleeper hits in the past with actors at the helm that were far less known than these. Think “Cloverfield,” for example.
Directed by the Brothers Strause, Colin and Greg, the movie is about an alien invasion far different from anything we’ve seen in the past. These aliens draw their prey to them by means of a strange blue light. Look into it and you become hypnotized, which makes you easy pickings for these part organic, part technologically advanced creatures.
So far, the plot seems interesting. Right? However, that’s as far as interesting goes with regard to this movie.
The first problem is the movie moves into action too quickly. There isn’t sufficient time or enough background for the audience to become invested in the characters or the story.
In fact, the characters developed by screenwriters Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell, are so poorly written that they aren’t even likeable. Without that quality, there is no reason why the audience would, or should, care what happens to them. Consequently, they don’t.
While I admit that the alien graphics are impressive, even they are poorly developed. It isn’t until the end of the film that the audience gets an inkling of what the creatures want with all the humans they abduct. The obvious reason, for food, is negated toward the front of the film.
It seems the writers were so eager to get into the battle of this movie, that they failed to build any kind of background. That is a major fatal flaw.
Some of the dialogue in this film makes no sense either. Of course it goes along with the characters that just seem to be walking through the film without much attachment to it.
Balfour, who plays the lead role Jarrod, simply isn’t a likeable actor. It is probably because of the roles he tends to play. His characters are usually hard edged, without many redeeming qualities. I guess he has become typecast, which is never a good thing.
Scottie Thompson, who plays Jarrod’s girlfriend, Elaine, seems a bit lost in this film. She whimpers and whines and carries on but does very little in the way of actual acting.
Brittany Daniel bitches her way through her part. She shows not one redeeming quality. It was obvious even the audience didn’t care that her husband, Terry, was two-timing her.
Crystal Reed’s role is very small, which is too bad. She’s the one actor who seems to have a handle on characterization outside of Donald Faison. Maybe that’s why their characters, Denise and Terry, are matched as lovers.
David Zayas had moments of clarity in the film. Unfortunately, he also had moments that were so far off the beat that you wondered if he was schizophrenic.
Donald Faison was the one beam of hope in the whole movie. His character had layers and they were all evident for the audience to see. However, he was killed off early in the film, leaving nothing but puppets behind.
This movie was all CGI and that is never a good thing. One can’t depend on the graphics to carry an entire film. If you do, you end up with a mish mash of junk, which is exactly what “Skyline” provides.
This wasn’t just a bad movie, it was a movie that simply didn’t need to be made. That is hard for a Sci-Fi film buff to admit. But there isn’t a single moment that creates a gem of a reason for this movie to exist. Without that, what’s the point?
I hated this movie and would have demanded my money back if I could have. I don’t think I’ve ever said that before; not even for one of the worst films ever made, “Laserblast.” Therefore, this movie gets 0 out of 5 stars.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.