Nov 16, 2010

Movies: Skyline

I have a soft spot for Alien Invasion movies. Seriously, I do. It doesn't matter that I can think of only one I've actually liked (that one being War of the Worlds), or that if they had only one more plot they'd be an amazing half-way. I just like them. There are shiny lights, gorgeous-looking HUGE motherships, pewpewlaserbeam and all the joy someone who grew up with SF and always wanted to see an actual space opera on the big screen could wish for.

That said, I went to see Skyline with the clearly defined expectation to watch garbage. I mean, come on. First of all, it's amazingly penile to sign your movies as the "random name brothers", and second - the Strauses are the losers who gave us the gloriously bad Aliens vs Predator - Requiem. How much lower can you get? Still, the motherships had an adorable resemblance to a Protoss Carrier, plus the trailer looked flashy. Ticket sold.

Skyline is not gloriously bad like AvP-R was. It's not a "let's pin the whiny cheerleader to the wall with a three-foot diameter shuriken" kind of bad. It's "oh my God, I'd rather chew off my own rectum!" kind of bad. The plot is that of every Alien Invasion movie ever - aliens come to harvest this or that valuable resource we seem to be the only ones in the universe in possession of (in this particular case the rather ironic choice is the human brain...). The military fire a lot of useless weapons, and since this isn't anime, nobody is smart enough to put an angsty teenage boy with ambiguous sexuality in a giant robot, so the aliens either die by themselves, or get killed through some gaping all-night-gangbang-style hole in their plan, or just wipe out everyone.

I'm not gonna tell you which ending the movie has, because I just can't deprive you of the utter hilarity that ensues around the last few minutes. Unfortunately, Skyline doesn't stop at the evil aliens, and makes us suffer together with some very harvest-worthy humans. After the initial ten minutes of character set-up that we know will not matter at all throughout the movie, we have the main cast - Smoking Hot Douchebag (Eric Balfour), Stunningly Blue-Eyed Female (Scottie Thompson), Token Buff Black Guy (Donald Faison), Annoying Blond Chick (Brittany Daniel), A Girl Who Just Happens To Be There (Crystal Reed) and Middle-Class Menial Who Gets Shit Done (David Zayas). That really doesn't matter too much, as we basically know exactly who is going to die, and also at what point of the plot.

What we don't know is that the budget of Skyline is probably comparable to my semester tuition, because a good half of the movie is set IN AN EFFIN' APARTMENT! I kid you not. Basically, the aliens are so bad-ass that the characters can't even make a run for it. Therefore, the entire 100 minutes of this abomination are set in one building, alternating between the apartment, the garage and the roof.

That is not to say that Skyline doesn't have a few mildly redeeming qualities. The special effects - when present - are pretty cool. The aliens are, disappointingly, not Protoss, and not even humanoid, but the concept of the mesmerising light is cool and well executed. Plus - it makes Smoking Hot Douchebag and Stunningly Blue-Eyed Female look really cool when it disfigures their faces. Smoking Hot Douchebag and Stunningly Blue-Eyed Female themselves are kind of a plus too, being respectively smoking hot and stunningly blue-eyed, but it is sad when you have to justify your ticket price with the attractiveness of random B-list actors...

No, seriously. There is absolutely no reason to watch Skyline. Most of the really cool moments are in the trailers anyway, and the rest are few and far between, separated by gory vortices of vomit-inducing boredom and lines/behavior right out of the cliche factory. And not the one in China or Pakistan, but a very low-budget cliche-factory operating illegally out of the Ukrainian countryside... AVOID!



  1. All I can say is... dammit. I was looking forward to this. Really. I actually enjoyed INDEPENDENCE DAY; for all of the cheese, it was still a great feel-good action flick that delivered everything it promised.

    I guess we're just going to have to hope BATTLE: LOS ANGELES doesn't suck.

  2. I like only cube motherships (like this: and pyramid motherships (like this: Flying saucers? Seriously? :D

  3. They looked more like dead spiders with cool ghostly lights inside... But oh well, can't have it all I guess.

    Of course, the Borg Cubes are THE coolest space-ship ever designed by man.