19 Nov

Title: Skyline
Brothers Strause
Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell
Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Donald Faison, Brittany Daniel, David Zayas
MPAA Rating:
PG-13, sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content
92 min
Major Awards:
IMDb Rating:
Rotten Tomatoes:


I’m a huge sci-fi fan, and here I was watching Skyline, the new movie from the Brothers Strause which came with a low budget of something like $10 million or so. With low-budget sci-fi films you expect not-so-stunning visuals but a great story that will get you through it all. Just look at this year’s Monsters, which had a really low budget but that delivered a very solid result thanks to a cool story, that’s what these films should be.

Skyline however, went the other way round, the story sucked, the dialogue was completely stale, but the special effects it had were pretty damn sweet, especially when you consider the budget they were working on. That should come as no surprise though, considering this was directed by the the Brothers Strause, who are special effects wizards and have worked on such visually stunning projects as Avatar, 2012 and 300. So yes, their resumé will show you just how great these guys can be with Hydraulx, their visual effects company, they can create some very stimulating sights. But as they have shown now with Skyline and back in 2007 with their only other feature film directorial effort, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, when they are also given the directing duties the results always include their visual gifts, but they also include a very sucky story, and the end result is always being horribly uninspired.

The poster for the film will tell you pretty much all you need to know about it, some really freakish lights descend upon Los Angeles which obviously comes from an alien force that pretty much wants to swallow all the humans that comes near it. So yeah, the whole film will then follow its stars, none of whom does even a decent job at their dumb roles, as they bunk up in one place, and sometimes risk running outside where the aliens will wreak havoc.

It’s all seriously dumb, Skyline has pretty much no plot to go along with the cool visuals. And yes, I guess you could say people won’t go into this film looking for a good human story, and that at a $10 million budget this one’s already made over $13 million since it was released a week ago so at least it’ll turn a profit, but seriously, in a world in which we saw the masterful District 9 last year, and the very decent Monsters this year, this just doesn’t cut it.

And to finalize my review I’ll go ahead and say one thing. In March of next year Battle: Los Angeles will be released, that one has its effects also handled by Hydraulx, and has a huge budget of $100 million and actually looks seriously amazing. Which is to say, go ahead and skip Skyline, it’s not worth it, it’s not horrible because the effects are well done, but you only have to wait some 4 months or so to see even better effects handled by the same company on a film that actually has a much better story and a cooler cast and that just overall looks seriously awesome. That’s my two cents, you better take ’em.

Grade: C-


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