Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movie with Abe: Skyline

Directed Colin & Greg Strause
Released November 12, 2010

This is one of those films that is doomed from the start, yet somehow it manages to go even further downhill and become worse as it inexplicably continues to run on for 92 minutes. The audience is in for just as hellish and unsurvivable a journey as its characters, though moviegoers will be fighting boredom, stupidity, and sheer disbelief while the idiotic characters are flailing about trying to defend their lives in the midst of an alien invasion. On every possible level, “Skyline” fails miserably as a film, and it’s appalling that it actually got made.

Before the aliens even arrive, “Skyline” is established as having some of the worst dialogue heard on film of late. The hostile aliens don’t speak, of course, but it’s likely that their unintelligible grunts would seem more profound than anything the humans say. The cast contains actors culled from television, led by serial series killer Eric Balfour (currently actually succeeding on Syfy’s “Haven”), Donald Faison (Turk from “Scrubs”), Scottie Thompson (Tony’s girlfriend Jeanne from “NCIS”), Brittany Daniel (“Sweet Valley High”), and David Zayas (Batista from “Dexter”). It’s as if they’re all fighting a secret competition to be crowned the worst actor in the film, and while Daniel probably wins, it’s a close race that’s far more enticing than the deadly threat of the aliens.

Once the aliens in question do in fact arrive, the most excitement the film can offer is guessing just how each of the characters will meet his or her end. Much of the film’s $10,000,000 budget was likely spent on effects, but the results aren’t overly impressive. While the images themselves are decent enough, the graphic concepts of the aliens are fairly dumb and incomprehensible. Some aliens hop around like a mix between gargoyles and Transformers, and others fly around as Nebuchadnezzar-like spaceships. This is one of those cases where the characters think they are the center of the universe – Daniel’s Candice actually calls the police on the aliens – and, mysteriously, they are. Not content with a hypnotizing light to capture a good portion of the human race, the ships and gargoyles engage in hunting down the survivors in inconvenient places like stairwells and parking garages, just for the hell of it.

When aliens attack from above, go underground. It doesn’t get any more obvious than that. Yet the idiots in this film are obsessed with either staying in the penthouse of a tower or making a run for the open water. Somehow, these friends are even stupider than horror film characters who decide it makes sense to split up. If this film contained a bit of fun action and featured enjoyable deaths of its characters like, say, “Cloverfield,” it would be infinitely better. Instead, it’s the kind of embarrassment that clearly derives its inspiration from and mangles the concept of a far superior film (though any film really is) like “Independence Day.” It’s inexcusably and impossibly bad, with no possible saving factors. The film’s conclusion proves even more senseless than the rest of the film, putting it pretty much on par with “Knucklehead” as the worst film of 2010 so far.


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