Aliens have invaded Southern California! Only these aliens want to steal our brains and take over the world. Skyline arrived on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, and we took a look at the movie so you don’t have to.
Ryan Kavanaugh (executive)
Brett Ratner (executive)
Tucker Tooley (executive)
Strange lights have descended upon the city of Los Angeles, and the alien invasion is right behind, in what is a visually stunning film, full of effects that are done right, at a budget most H’wood execs would spend on a evening on the town. I want to repeat this bit again – The visuals in this movie are excellent. Top notch, and done right. There are plenty of particle effects and lens flares to make you think you are watching a movie that someone spent 100 million dollars on. If I had a special effects movie I was directing and needed some effects gurus, the first phone call would be to the Brothers Strause.
The problem is, this visually stunning film, is also stunning in the fact that the story is virtually nonexistent. From the beginning we are introduced to a cast of one dimensional characters, and there is no real time in this 90 minute sci-fi flick to get to know, or more importantly, care about them. They simply react to the situation – voyeurs of an attack that is the equivalent of watching a war play out on a cable news network. Actually, it is worse than that – not only do they witness the events from the window of their condo, they watch most of it from a video feed attached to their telescope. It is like Cloverfield and Independence Day got it on during drunken night of partying, and this is the illegitimate offspring.
When the ending was revealed weeks before the movie was released in theaters, and we learn what the aliens are really after, the WTF factor went through the roof. After watching the film, I can honestly say I want to double that number. Sure, one can claim there is a lot of deep thought and pondering about our place in the universe, but really… this is just bad storytelling.
On the plus side, the Brothers Strause did deliver a film that made more than it cost. The 10 million dollar budget appears to be well spent and the 21 million return domestically means the movie is a financial success.
At the end of the day, the effects are pretty to look at, but overall I feel there isn’t much there. This certainly feels like an excellent special effects demo reel, but a satisfying movie, it does not. I do appreciate the fact that the Strause brothers went the distance and embraced this film, and on that level I do have some appreciation for this 1950’s sci-fi B-moive done for modern audiences.
BOTTOM LINE: USE YOUR BRAIN
While the aliens may only want us for our brains, it doesn’t take a Brainiac to know that this movie is lacking on so many levels. Someday Skyline may achieve cult status like the Evil Dead, but that day isn’t today. If you want to turn off your mind for an hour and a half, go for it. If you want to simply watch a movie that is nothing but special effects, go for it. If you are hoping for a movie with substance… skip Skyline. I’m giving this movie 1 out of 5 Stars simply for the visual effects and the fact that Scottie Thompson is cute.