Review: SKYLINE (2010) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Review: SKYLINE (2010)


Judging by the look of its trailer, SKYLINE appears like a big-budget alien-invasion extravaganza. But special-effects artists and brothers Colin and Greg Strause (2007's ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM) manage to self-finance their own movie here made independently for just $10 million. What's more, it's a movie that shot entirely on the new Red cameras with the Mysterium-X chip owned by the brothers themselves and it was almost entirely filmed at co-director Greg Strause's condo building in Marina Del Rey, CA. Frankly speaking, that is quite a remarkable achievement for a low-budget independent production. But it's rather a shame that the movie itself is a major disappointment in most departments.

The movie begins with twenty-somethings Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) arrive in downtown L.A. to attend a party hosted by Terry (Donald Faison), an old friend who has recently make a name himself in the film industry. But Elaine doesn't particularly enjoy Terry's party especially with those egoistic rich people all around. Not only that, she is actually pregnant and even after she breaks the news to Jarrod, he doesn't seems to be happy about it. Still their relationship problem is nothing compared to the full-scale alien invasion that comes out of nowhere the following morning. Beams of mysterious blue light are seen shooting down across the L.A. sky, and anyone who looks directly at it will get sucked up into giant alien spacecrafts. Within a matter of time, news from the television and internet are instantly malfunctioned and everyone start to grow panic.

While the special effects are half decent, the same cannot be said for Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell's first-time screenplay. Like the Strause brothers, they also hailed from visual effects backgrounds and it's no surprise that their story is sketchy at best. The story is a tedious soap-opera type, while the characters are as flat as pancake. Performances are skimpy, in which they are nothing more than just a bunch of pretty faces with little credibility and the dialogues are awfully stilted. And despite the movie's supposedly claustrophobic setting at a condo building, the Strause brothers doesn't seem to know how to sustain the tension in consistent manner. More than often, the pacing is erratic and at times the action looks repetitive.

Still the best scene only comes in the all-hell-breaks-loose climactic finale, but too bad it's just too little and too late. If that's not insulting enough, the movie closes with an unnecessary open ending that is either make you go bug-eyed or feels cheesy about the sudden, out-of-nowhere concept (you just have to see it for yourself).

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