Directed by: The Brothers Strause
Premise: Aliens invade Los Angeles and begin abducting the population.
What Works: Co-directors Colin and Greg Strause have an impressive visual style and there are a number of scenes in Skyline that have impressive sci-fi imagery.
What Doesn’t: There is very little about Skyline that is original. Much of the film, in concept and in execution, is reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, Ridley Scott’s Alien and Ray Harryhausen monster movies like It Came from Beneath the Sea. Skyline largely misses what made those other films work. There is no build up to the attack; at one moment everything is peaceful and then all hell breaks loose, and that lack of transition denies the story tension that would increase the excitement leading up to the action scenes. The aliens of Skyline are not particularly interesting, looking very much like most other insect-like invaders from other movies, and their strange biology raises questions about how they would ever be civilized enough to assemble and pilot a ship to earth to mount an attack. Even less interesting are the human characters. Although the film spends some time setting up interpersonal relationships between the main cast, a lot of that is abandoned once the invasion starts. None of the acting is particularly good, although the actors are much more convincing in the early soap opera-like drama than they are in the scenes of terror. The ending of Skyline take some unexpected turns and for a moment it appears like the film might get to something unique or interesting, but the movie ends prematurely and so it comes off as a cheap hook for a sequel rather than a genuine story reversal.
Bottom Line: Skyline has some impressive visuals but its story and acting are only shrug-worthy. This film probably ought to have been released directly to DVD than taking up space in the theater.
Episode: #316 (November 21, 2010)