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.