Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SKYLINE - Resist The Light!

SKYLINE (sci-fi thriller)
Cast: Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, Neil Hopkins, J. Paul Boehmer, Tanya Newbould and Pam Levin
Directors: Colin and Greg Strause
Script: Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell
Time: 98 mins
Rating: * 1/2 (out of 4)

Donald Faison and Eric Balfour are mesmerised by the light

PREAMBLE: First, let's work on some maths: Skyline is an alien invasion flick that has a touted US$10 million budget! This amount is a shoestring for an alien attack film - it is not even enough to pay the salary of an A-list star! So now you can do the maths and understand why there are no big stars here.

If you had seen the trailer you might have been impressed by the CGI effects of the tentacled UFOs. This, ladies and gentlemen, is arguably where all the money seem to have gone. Everything else, from its script and B-grade TV stars to its sets, are all hotch-potch and downright cheap. The result is an exploitation film that seems destined for DVD.

THE SKINNY: After a night of heavy partying at a posh condo in Los Angeles, a bunch of friends are awakened in the early hours by mysterious beams of light from the skyline. Those who gaze on the light get entranced - like moths to a flame and get 'burnt up'.

Yup, the alien ships have landed and the survivors at the condo unit, Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his fiancee (Scottie Thompson, pictured below with Balfour), and their friends Terry (Donald Faison of TV's Scrubs) and Candice (Brittany Daniel) must find a way to escape the aliens' grasp. But where can they run?

HITS AND MISSES: There are so many things wrong with the movie that I don't know where to begin. The film, directed by the Brothers Strause who did the effects for The X-FIles, centres the action inside the condo unit so much that we get the impression that LA is deserted and the only folks left are those in the half-empty building. No attempt is made to show the scope of the 'body snatching' and its effects on the millions of other city-dwellers.

Next, the main characters are being portrayed as such selfish and unsavoury people that we root for the aliens to take them away. This may be because the scripters have not bothered to flesh out their backgrounds, except for a few predictable turns. The only one who comes on as real is David Sayas (of TV's Dexter fame) who plays the building supervisor. Also, the dialogue is lame and cliched. The writers must have had the notion that audience interest can be sustained if they have the characters yell at one another.

There's no doubt that Strause brothers provide exhilarating special effects - but they need to work on getting a good story to go with their CGI magic.

THE LOWDOWN: Resist the urge to look out.


Post a Comment

<< Home