Don’t Look Up! That’s this alien invasions tagline where excellent special effects blur with an awful script, characters you want dead already and the most stupid ending possible – possibly in the history of invasion films! Welcome to Skyline…
Release Date : 2010
Running Time : 97 minutes
Aliens come for a cosy visit and decide for dinner they’d like human brains on toast.
The Disasters Faced
Bright lights that require SPF 1 million, angry and hungry aliens, a gas cooker, a cigarette (not related to the gas cooker), a nuke and a risk of actually liking one of the films characters.
Skyline is a strange one. It was tooted as a low-budget (since when is $10,000,000 a low-budget?! Can I make a movie for that please) alien invasion movie that felt like it was going to be a crossover between Cloverfield and Battle: LA. What we get is a surreal and confused film that leaves you cold. The opening of the film places you at the beginning of the attack where you share the characters general confusion and worry about what’s going on around them. It’s a great way to be immersed in the action. Sadly the next twenty-five minutes is spent then showing what these characters had all done the day before and by the time you’ve met all the arrogant, rich and disgustingly putrid characters you’re then actually quite looking forward to them being picked off one by one. While they do fall by the wayside in some pretty spectacular ways, I just wasn’t engaged to care by the time it all kicked off. The effects are fantastic but maybe its just me – I need something to actually root and fight for in the film. With Skyline everyone just moans their way through the ordeal with only David Zayas as Oliver really standing out from the cardboard.
Amazingly for what is a relatively small budget, the effects are fantastic when used sparingly. The scenes of the alien mothership sucking up humans like a Dyson on speed are well done. Also the last twenty minutes where the Army turn up and try to battle the not-so-little blighter’s are quite impressive technically as well and are by far the best reason to see the film.
Why It’s Worth Watching
Skyline’s effects are great. If you dislike the characters enough (and some of them are vile) you will enjoy watching them meet their demise one way or another. I have to say, as does one of the characters in the film, that the actual premise of aliens sending down beautiful lights for everyone to look at so they can take over their brain is a fantastic and clever idea.
*Enter person into the story for a scene*
*exit person from movie as a redshirt death so main cast can continue*
While being stomped on by a massive alien leg may be good enough for the win, I love the fact that when the alien tentacle suckers grab hold of you and suck you back into their palm, they then appear to crush you into their digestive system or just into dust with a sickening crunch
After almost changing this to bearable character, Oliver wins for being the only vaguely human person in the film.
Usually in an alien invasion you don’t start screaming at someone for lighting a cigarette because you’re pregnant! However nothing can prepare you for the ending of the film. ***SPOILER*** WHAT THE HELL?!? Now are we led to believe that after all their arguing and hating of each other in general, our leading mans love is so strong that he is able to take over the alien body and start a fight back?! Is it because he didn’t look at the light properly and therefore uninfected brains cause problems for the aliens? Is it all just a steaming heap of something else? I have no idea! I was not impressed. I don’t usually mind off the wall endings because at least it evoked something from me. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.
Completely financed by the directors themselves, it is an interesting pitch that they shot it on their own cameras, at their own apartment block and using their friends music. Oh to be rich!
The ending aside, Skyline left me on autopilot. Neither engaging or awful enough to get you going, it ends up being the worst thing a film can be – completely indifferent. There’s a few cracking effect shots and three good action sequences but they don’t make up for the poor quality of the rest of the film. One day someone will actually combine effects, character and story and realise that good effects alone cannot sustain a good film.