DVD, Blu-ray Movie Review
Directed by Colin and Greg Strause, Written by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell, Rated R, 92-minutes.
By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimokowitz
For a movie that warns of the dangers of shiny objects, "Skyline" sure makes us look at a lot of them. Though never trying to be anything more than a fun invasion flick, the film's very apparent similarities to other, better movies weigh it down. What’s more, its lack of logic and convincing characters will frequently keep your brain on Earth, no matter how hard this thing tries to suck your brain out of you.
Just out on DVD and Blu-ray disc, "Skyline" is about a special effect gone awry. Terry (Donald Faison in a role that plays to the actor’s every weakness), a Hollywood visual effects designer, invites Jarrod (Eric Balfour) to LA to offer him a job on a "Transformers"-type movie.
Jarrod is unsure. Can he give up his stable life of photography and scrapbooking? He has a wife and, despite being an artist, he doesn’t know how he could be of any use to a graphic designer. That is until an army of brain-stealing, squid-looking aliens attack and abduct the human race by attracting them with what no human can resist--blinding rays of blue light.
It’s funny that Jarrod is making a scrapbook early on, because that’s what this movie is. From "Independence Day" to "The Matrix" to "Cloverfield," "Skyline" borrows ideas from just about every big-budget sci-fi film of the last 15 years. It uses these familiar sights as a crutch, but the fun of these past films is to see something otherworldly. By boldly going where so many movies have gone before, "Skyline" comes off as too familiar to be alien.
Most importantly, "Skyline" misses what made those movies successful--likeable characters and an exciting plot. Here, the story is too convenient and its character too illogical. They have no rules to follow, but it wouldn’t matter anyway, because the aliens foil their every move with some new weapon or power they suddenly have. It’s the type a movie that splits characters up just so there are more cars to smash and where aliens can’t see through blinds simply because the writers didn’t see "Predator."
In all of the film's familiarity, the movie expects our allegiance, but without a decent plot or believable characters, the film has no hope of abducting our attention. It’s never boring and it has an array of stunning effects, but "Skyline" isn’t original enough to stand out as something memorable.