Skyline (from the Strause Brothers)
Strange blue lights start dropping from the heavens into downtown Los Angeles captivating all who look upon them, taking hold of them and drawing them toward the source. The bad news is that this source just happens to be a race of aliens here to harvest the human race down to the last person standing.
I love a good alien invasion (beware, spoilers ahead). There’s the all out, in your face kind ala WAR OF THE WORLDS and INDEPENDANCE DAY and there’s the sneaky back door kind like THE FACULTY and INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Both recipes work, though I certainly had my issues with aliens overlooking bacteria, caffeine or in some cases (I’m looking at you M. Night), water. These are the kinds of things you’d think alien scouts would pick up on when they’re casing the planet and as a result make for some debatable plot holes. My theory on an alien invasion is simple; if we ever got invaded, we’d have our butts handed to us which just happens to be the thought process behind SKYLINE and for this reason especially, I enjoyed the ride.
The story here starts off a lot like CLOVERFIELD in that we have a party built around two best friends. Add to that the standard dose of girlfriend drama (cheating, a potential move, pregnancy, they’re all here) and you’re wading through everyday waters. Now an alien invasion would throw off just about anyone’s day (especially after a hard night of boozing) so I was on board with the “make it up as we go along” vibe these characters were giving off. Their decisions (and arguments) made sense to me as they really didn’t have a hell of a lot of options. The only thing I didn’t get was the whole “we’ll be safer at sea” bit as in my opinion they’d stick out like sore thumbs on the water but hey, that’s me.
I can’t help but assume that the brother’s Straus, the effects team and the production team must all be pretty big fans of STARCRAFT because this film looked an awfully lot like a Protoss invasion on Earth. Some of the aliens were an obvious blend of sentinels from THE MATRIX and there was one (the ones from the end of the film, on the ship) that looked almost identical to the lickers from the RESIDENT EVIL films. Similarities aside, the monsters looked fantastic as did the ships. I love the use of blue light to ensnare prey (taking a page of the Dragonfish playbook) but I was confused by the idea they played around with when it came to breaking away from the light and or the effects it had on the human body. It felt like an unresolved idea that had potential but essentially went nowhere.
SKYLINE was about what I expected based upon the trailers and though most people seem to have a problem with the ending (which can be broken down into two parts), I enjoyed it as far as the invasion was concerned. The other aspect of the ending, which will be obvious when you see it, was indeed a perplexing turn of events. I won’t go into further detail but it does take a minute or two to digest. All things considered I dug this flick as I love this genre and as much as I think 3D is overdone these days I can’t help but wonder why movies like MY SOUL TO TAKE got shot in 3D yet this film didn’t (it would’ve looked awesome). If you’re a fan of alien flicks check this one out on the big screen but rest assured that it will look just as great on Blu-ray if you feel the need to wait.