never a really good thing when the Earth is under attack by marauding alien
forces and you can’t really muster up all that much sympathy for the
victims. However, this is the atmosphere where Skyline forces us to
reside during its hour and a half of wholesale destruction and carnage.
problem is – and it’s not a small problem – most of the humans shown in
Skyline are either complete ciphers or unlikable jerks. It doesn’t help
that in a film where the entirety of Los Angeles is wiped out (and in later
scenes it is revealed that New York, London and many other world centers
were also destroyed by the space invaders), we really only get to know about
nine or ten people, all of them stuck in a single building.
characters are so uninteresting, in fact, that the filmmakers can’t even be
bothered to acknowledge the apparent death of one of the female characters.
One minute she is driving in a car with a man and then the car is attacked.
We watch him get killed but never know for sure what happened to her. She
is never seen or referred to again. We have to assume she was killed in the
attack, too, but it seems like lazy storytelling that the fact was never
explained or even mentioned, almost like they forgot she was ever there.
Also, for an alien attack designed to bring the Earth to its knees, these
killer ETs spend a whole lot of time and manpower (alienpower?) on just this
small group. You’d have to assume that there were lots of small colonies of
survivors around, yet the space monsters seemed to be obsessed with hovering
around this Los Angeles apartment building waiting around for stragglers.
again, much of the big world domination plan does not seem to make a whole
heck of a lot of sense. The aliens do not appear to have any particular
motivation for their attack on the Earth – other than vacuuming up thousands
of people, ripping their heads off and then throwing their bodies away.
aliens also seem to be nearly impossible to destroy, yet a giant mothership
can be exploded clear out of the sky with a single Air Force missile.
the meantime, a whole passel of TV actors attempt to save the world – or at
least that apartment complex – including Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under),
Scottie Thompson (Trauma), Donald Faison (Scrubs) and David
Skyline is the
second feature directed by special effects artists who call themselves The
Brothers Strause – their name is Strause and they are brothers, go figure.
Their previous directing gig had been the barely-seen
sequel Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.
the plus side, the effects here really are rather stunning, particularly for
such a low-budget film (about $10 million).
However, I wish they had added a bit more to the budget and actually hired a
professional screenwriter – the first-time scripters here are both part of
the film’s production crew. Not only would the dialogue be less painful and
the characters be less one-dimensional, but the eyes of a storyteller may
have saved Skyline from all its logical inconsistencies and plot
supposed to be science fiction, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll buy just
anything they throw at us.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: March 20, 2011.