I watched Skyline

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Skyline is easily the worst movie that I’ve seen this year, and one of the worst that I’ve ever seen. If you’ve watched the trailers, that’s literally everything that you have to look forward to.

Skyline is about an alien invasion of earth as giant ships arrive to vacuum up humanity thanks to their ability to mesmerize us and have us gather at convenient “pick up” points. The premise certainly sounded interesting: why do these aliens want us? Where did they come from? Will the film show us some neat scenery?

Well, I’ll answer the first question because the answer is incredibly stupid: they’re here for our brains.

After leaving the theater, it certainly felt as if they took mine.

Apparently they’re some kind of battery for these things begging the question of how they got around before they got to Earth. I mean, Skyline doesn’t take place in the distant future. So just how did these aliens get around without us? Unfortunately, we’ll probably never know. At least ID4 took the time to explain some of its own potholes before injecting a computer virus into an alien ship.

The (obviously) gifted animators and artists at Hydraulx effortlessly produce some nice visuals to chew on such as the aliens themselves against the backdrop of LA which, once again, gets the concrete and rebar kicked out of it. The effects aren’t bad, but if that’s all that you want out of this film, it’s not much more than in renting James Cameron’s Avatar and watching the documentary extras instead. Taken from that perspective alone, Skyline is like eating paste engineered to taste like steak and enjoying it only because your taste buds make enough of a reason to – even though it will cut through your bowels with the vengeance of a dead Aztec emperor in the morning.

I asked myself if the filmmakers had a friend who owned a penthouse, parking garage, and an apartment and decided to guerilla film everything from within those three places and stretch everything out with the special effects alone. It’s as if someone looked at the script and realized that there wasn’t enough there to do anything with and decided to fill in the gaps in with digital scenery and a lot of fake drama. A good script can work wonders with only a handful of places. Skyline’s doesn’t even try, especially with its characters.

Because I didn’t get why I should care for them. After about thirty minutes, I realized that they existed for no other reason than for the audience to hear them complain, gripe, and then mope – yes, there’s a lot of that here – around a penthouse suite before beginning several more arguments for the sake of arguing.

If I was in a room with these people, I’d gladly have myself vacuumed up and have my brain extracted if only because I could come back as an alien juggernaut to eat them. There’s nothing to connect the audience to them – not that they’d want to be – other than to watch them scramble around onscreen and await the alien Dust Busters to find them. It’s like watching an episode of the Jersey Shore with the last five minutes dedicated to watching aliens fly overhead.

The thrills are predictable to the point where Skyline became a boring exercise of cliches and idiocy on the part of its characters. Watching it end only made things worse. The experience was thankfully over, but the last scene is so ridiculous that I wanted to burst out laughing as soon as it became clear that I wasn’t hallucinating from all of the blue LEDs onscreen. It felt like Skyline was laughing at its audience for staying with it for as long as they did – like me, who watched one fellow walk out an hour before it actually got to this point.

For the price of a ticket, rent any sci-fi themed game out there for your Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, or PC. I can almost guarantee you that you will have a far better time with it than in wasting the same with Skyline.

Skyline
Black Monday Film Services / Hydraulx / Rat Entertainment / Relativity Media
Rated: PG-13