Movie Review - Skyline (*)


Skyline.  100 mins.  PG-13.  Directed by The Brothers Strause.  Written by Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell.
One surefire sign a movie sucks: as I'm about to head into the theater, the ticket taker asks me, "Are you sure you want to do this?"  I laughed it off, knowing full well what I was getting myself into when I bought a ticket for Skyline, but I still wasn't prepared for how bad it would actually be.  The occasional decent special effect can't salvage the horrendous acting, terrible dialogue, inane plotting, and giant eyesore that passes for creature design.  This is an aliens attack movie, so the threshold for making unpretentious B-movie fun is quite low and easy to achieve.  I guess it wasn't low enough.
Surefire sign #2 that a movie sucks: it starts off with the title card, "A Film by The Brothers Strause."  These guys previously directed the franchise-killing Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem.  That should tell you plenty.  Away from the director's chair, however, these guys are quite talented visual effects artists.  They worked on Benjamin Button, the Winekelvoss twins in The Social Network, and many more.  Clearly though, their computer effects artistry doesn't translate to directing.  You can almost hear them whispering "cool shot" to each other as they ignore all the other fundamental aspects of filmmaking.
For most of its running time, Skyline plays like a bad local theater production of Night of the Living Dead.  You have a bunch of characters holed up in a room, annoying the hell out of each other (and the audience).  It's hard to believe the acting could be so bad.  This is not a cast of unknowns.  A lot of pedigree TV actors are in this: Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under, 24), Donald Faison (Scrubs), and Brittany Daniel (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).  And the less said about the ridiculous ending (cribbed right from District 9 it seems), the better.  Next time, take your ticket taker's word when they try to save you from the $10 you just spent.

Filed under: Movies, Reviews

Tags: film, movies, reviews, Skyline

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