Skyline review

Banana Rating: 1 out of 5

I sup­pose it’s nice to think that if ali­ens ever con­tact Earth, they’ll show us a new way to live, one that doesn’t involve hor­rible wars, daft reli­gions, and get­ting up early for work.

The truth is, any planet that pro­duces The Jeremy Kyle Show won’t be looked on too kindly by an alien civil­iz­a­tion. They’ll have to nuke the planet from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

In Sky­line, the ali­ens are firmly in the “kill the puny humans” camp. Except for the nuk­ing part. Nope, like a lot of ali­ens who hap­pen upon our planet, they’re just big show-offs. They drop from our skies in their big, fancy, high­falutin space­ships, but not before giv­ing us a cool little light show to sig­nal their arrival. Then they send out the big boys to make sure we’re prop­erly squished.

So for a film of this sort, you would need a pretty big budget, right? Wrong. Sky­line was knocked out for some­thing in the region of $10 − 20 mil­lion. Quite sur­pris­ing. It seems with a little bit of tal­ent, a little bit of money, and a few com­puters, you can make a movie that has the looks of some­thing ten times the budget.

Now, if only there was also some­thing else, another ingredi­ent to make a film not shit. Strangely enough, there is. It’s called a good script. A good script usu­ally con­tains stuff like an inter­est­ing plot, and char­ac­ters to root for.

Sky­line has none of that. Instead, it has that IT guy from 24, and that guy from Scrubs, and that guy with the hat from Dex­ter. Minus his hat. For most of the movie, they’re in an apart­ment, going, “Ooh, what’s occur­ing?” Then they leave the apart­ment for a bit to find out what’s going on.

After that, they retreat to the apart­ment, mak­ing sure to close the blinds. Because if they don’t, that means more money and work to cre­ate a CGI back­drop of the alien inva­sion, whilst they’re busy arguing about whether to go back out­side again.

Sky­line steals, and pinches, and nicks from other, super­ior, alien inva­sion movies. I think I’ve seen so many movies where ali­ens invade — from War of the Worlds (the ali­ens die of the sniffles) to Inde­pend­ence Day (the ali­ens die of hav­ing Mac com­pat­ible tech­no­logy) — that a movie of this sort really has to do a lot to impress me.

There has to be a bit more than just, “Ali­ens attack!!” Unfor­tu­nately, there isn’t. Now don’t get me wrong, “Ali­ens attack!” can work if it’s viol­ent enough, maybe even funny enough, just so long as there’s a spark of ori­gin­al­ity in there, some­thing dif­fer­ent to make me sit up and take notice.

But Sky­line doesn’t have an ori­ginal bone in its entire body. It feels like some­thing the Strause broth­ers have pulled together to show off to the Hol­ly­wood money men, to drum up dol­lars for the already planned sequel.

Quite simply, it isn’t a proper movie. It’s an SFX demo reel.