SkyLine

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Colin Strause, Greg Strause
  • Cast:Eric Balfour, Brittany Daniel, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, David Zayas
  • Release Date:November 11, 2010
  • Distributor:Hopscotch
  • Running time:95 minutes
  • Film Worth:$6.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While it's visually interesting, this soulless sci-fi flick is let down by poor pacing and unlikeable characters.

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Having worked as visual effects designers on such blockbusters as 300, Avatar, 2012 and Jonah Hex, and helming the 2007 sci-fi monster mash Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (can you smell something?), The Brothers Strause (Greg and Colin) unfortunately return to the director's chair with Skyline, an effects-heavy alien invasion flick that unfortunately fails to resonate on a dramatic level.

Borrowing heavily from the Cloverfield mantra of witnessing a major supernatural catastrophe from the viewpoint of an average Joe, Skyline jumps right into the action as brilliant lights are seen falling into Los Angeles from the sky. Locked away in a penthouse suite behind block-out shutters are Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson), a couple visiting their newly successful Hollywood friend, Terry (Scrubs' Donald Faison) when they are violently woken by the phenomenon. When Jarrod investigates it becomes apparent that the lights serve a malicious purpose as he finds himself possessed and drawn to their siren song, before being dragged to the ground by his friend.

Despite an intriguing start, the Brothers Strause then take the strange turn of jumping back half a day to build their characters' back stories. This proves a move both detrimental to the pacing of the film and to the characters themselves as the Brothers reveal their inexperience in working with actors (instead of pixels), crafting neurotic, unlikeable characters that fail to connect with the audience.

The rest of the film plays out like a desperate game of survival but falls short as their fates become less interesting than what's going on around them. Luckily, Skyline offers enough of a visual spectacular in the decimation of LA and the array of alien creatures and hardware to keep audiences entertained.

Compared with the recent spate of sci-fi films such as District 9, Star Trek and most of Roland Emmerich's disaster films, Skyline struggles to live up to its own expectations, bereft as it is of any humour or soul. But with Skyline 2 already in preproduction, hopefully the Brothers Strause will have learnt from their inexperience and may deliver a more rounded cinematic experience.

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