Skyline - Movie Review
At its heart Skyline is a very fun and inventive sci-fi action flick. Unfortunately much of the film is concerned with brains, and as far as character development goes, there isn't a whole lot to be found. Then again, it is an action flick after all, so at least they're trying.
I had a creative writing professor once tell me that if you ever want to make a story far more complicated, make one of the characters pregnant. Skyline understands the concept of this principle with one of the central characters, who starts off the film with morning sickness just before somebody is pull off the balcony by a floating blue light. She, along with her husband, are spending a post-party night at their friends magnificent apartment in LA. It's modern now in the way I imagine modern looked to people in the 80's. That is, everything is run by a remote.
The first ten minutes of this movie don't make a very good impression. First of all, the opening credits appear to have been made by a freshman in college who just figured out how After Effects work. Secondly, everyone looks like they're straight out of a Sci-Fi Channel "made for tv movie." Thirdly, the movie starts off with a flash forward which is really just a cheap method of telling the audience that this is an alien movie even though we see all the same events take place ten minutes later down the line. Start off as a normal movie why don't you?
But get past it. Those are minor gripes that actually, maybe only I have. Skyline has a lot of things that really work. Take for instance a scene featuring an agonizingly slow garage door. Sometimes, what you want to happen faster suddenly starts to happen all too quickly. The film plays well against what you want the characters to do, and seems to find inventive ways to reverse them.
What the film is lacking is a sense of humor about itself. I would have cared for any kind of comic relief. Maybe not Jar Jar Binks, but somebody who would make light of the fact that even though these people are cornered in an apartment by brain eating aliens, at least they're cornered with a supply of energy drinks and alcohol. Honestly, it's not so bad. I would've kicked back a bit and took in the glowing lights with a pair of sunglasses.
All that's left to analyze is the ending, which arrives at a half hour before it should have. The movie was made with a very small budget, so what happened? Did the funds just run out? Did somebody say, "Well, at least we'll have something for the sequel?" As far as length goes, it actually ends at about the right time. But at the last ten minutes I was met with an action film that turned into a really very good sci-fi movie. That leaves me with a pretty lame first ten minutes, and a very good last ten minutes of a movie that actually isn't finished. Well, there are good bits thrown in the middle too, but they are only punctuated by characters interacting with "Well what's your plan HOT SHOT?!" And "You've got a better idea?!" Honestly, the characters themselves with their glossy make-up and carefully disheveled hairdo's were a little alien to begin with; so I guess there's not much to worry about if some interstellar beings take their place.
With all that said, for a relatively small film (made roughly for 10 million) there is an abundance of great special effects that work due to some very well written and edited scenes. It's made for the sole purpose to entertain, and to entertain without getting an R-Rating, and to make money, so I think it's a success. Good for them. This isn't really a movie though. This is a great television pilot. Since it's for free on Netflix, I recommend tuning in.