Cast: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson
Director: Colin and Greg Strause
Packed with elaborate special effects but missing any semblance of an intelligent plot, "Skyline" is a bargain-basement version of films like "Independence Day" and "War of the Worlds".
The alien invasion premise is an old one, but director duo Colin and Greg Strause do nothing to infuse any originality in this tired scenario. Poorly written and embarrassingly enacted from the word go, "Skyline" follows Jarrod and his girlfriend Elaine (played by Eric Balfour and Scottie Thompson) as they travel to Los Angeles to celebrate the birthday of a friend, who has recently hit the big-time as a singing star.
After a long evening of drinking and celebrating, the passed out partygoers are woken by an eerie blue glow streaming in through the blinds. Turns out a giant spacecraft is hovering over the LA skyline, and ugly alien beasts are running riot through he city, hunting down humans to harvest their brains.
The film's shoestring budget means the action is restricted to a single residential complex. So most of the film involves the protagonists hiding in apartments, running up and down stairwells, or shouting for help from the terrace, even as they're closely pursued by the tentacled aliens. Sadly, they have nowhere to go. And neither does this movie.
Although the creature design of the aliens is interesting, and the special effects aren't half bad, "Skyline" is nowhere as smart as "District 9", and doesn't have the overall visual inventiveness of that film either.
Hardcore fans of sci-fi are likely to enjoy the film's final 15 minutes in which humans and aliens go hand-to-tentacle in a desperate fight for survival. But that's a small payoff at the end of an immensely boring film.
I'm going with one-and-a-half out of five for "Skyline". Directed by the Brothers Strause - the special effects wiz-kids who worked on films like "Avatar", "2012" and "Iron Man 2" - this is a cheesy, incoherent mess. Stay far away.
Rating: 1.5 / 5
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