Friday, November 12, 2010

Lame "Skyline" at least has some nifty aliens

Skyline (2010) 
94 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: C -

The technically slick, gooey, but lame "Skyline" is an alien-invasion B-movie made on an epic scale but mysteriously didn't just air on the Sci-Fi Channel or receive a direct-to-video release. East Coast dude Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his preggers girlfriend (Scottie Thompson) come to visit his long-time music-biz buddy (Donald Faison) in Los Angeles. But that night, blue light starts streaming from the sky and it turns out tentacled, brain-eating aliens are sucking people up into their motherships. Can't you just feel the doom? 

Harnessed by independent producers/directors Colin and Greg Strause, cool visual effects are clearly the bread and butter of these bros (A Brothers Strause Film!) because everything else surrounding the indomitable, niftily designed aliens in "Skyline" is mediocre. The actors are good-looking blanks, the characters are ninnies we don't care about, their dialogue just plain dumb (a favorite being “They're not dead...just really pissed off”), and the plot is a thirtysomething soap opera thrown into a humdrum, dollar-store casserole of "Independence Day," "Virus," "War of the Worlds," "Transformers," and "Cloverfield." 

The virgin screenwriters (Joshua Cordes, Liam O'Donnell) must've seen a lot of sci-fi movies because every line and plot point feels derivative. There's no claustrophobic suspense at stake, but even once the action gets going, "Skyline" just stops. Colin, Greg, ask your brotherly selves one question: was it really worth it?

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