The last few years have seen a spate of apocalyptic sci-fi movies, from the rather faceless 2012 to the memorable (for various reasons) Avatar. It was only matter of time before some lower-budget copycats began to get in on the act, but whereas District 9 was engaging and impressive, Skyline falls into the category of pure eye-candy.
After working as special effects specialists on both the previously mentioned multi-million dollar blockbusters, the rather pretentiously titled Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg) have attempted to bring their expertise to the directors’ chair with this effort, but it hasn’t quite worked.
Yet while Skyline is left wanting in the plot and script department, the film’s special effects are very impressive considering its relatively (and I emphasise that word) small of budget. This is just as well because there is little else in this film to enjoy. All dialogue is simply filler, stop-gaps for a small lull in the high-octane action and these lulls are mercifully small. The characters seem to inhabit a bizarre world where the entire range of female emotion is reduced to terror alone. 24’s Eric Balfour and Scrubs favourite Donald Faison are the two hammy lead men and they along with the rest of the cast do decent jobs with the substandard material they are given.
The action begins when some large, radiant blue globes land all over a stereotypically sunny LA, and carries on for a rather short but sweet 90 minutes. The ensuing carnage focuses on Jared (Balfour), his lady (Scottie Thompson) and their Hollywood star pal Terry (Faison), plus a few of Terry’s rather disposable hangers-on as they try to escape the 5-star hotel – where else? – they are trapped in. They spend most of the movie bickering, struggling to fashion some drama from a lacklustre script or trying to escape the octopus like creatures who have taken over the city. Technical deficiencies aside, Skyline is loaded with enough action and spectacular effects to keep audiences entertained on at least one level.