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Movie Review: Skyline

Title: Skyline

Director: Brothers Strause

Producer: Brothers Strause

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

Distributor: Universal Studios

Series: N/A

Release Date: November 12, 2010

Format: Standard

Runtime: 92 Minutes

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Starring: Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Donald Faison, Brittany Daniel, Scottie Thompson

Synopsis (Product Description):

In the new sci-fi thriller ‘Skyline‘, strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth.

The Review:

Skyline is the new alien invasion disaster movie and it’s been dinged pretty hard by some mainstream reviewers.  I saw it opening day and I think that it’s actually one of the better alien invasion movies, emphasis on the word alien.  It’s Independence Day done right.

Skyline is set in modern day LA and chronicles 3 days in the life of a small group trying to survive a close encounter of the worst kind.  Overnight a massive alien invasion force appears in the skies over LA and begin abducting Los Angelinos by the millions.  What’s impressive about this movie beyond stellar special effects is that the aliens are actually alien as opposed to typical Hollywood aliens. You see, aliens are seldom very alien in pop culture.  Think about it.  Vulcans, Klingons, Kryptonians look a lot like us.  Ten fingers, ten toes, one mouth. That’s awfully unlikely, right? The best alien movies like Alien, The Thing, have the most memorable, truly alien life forms.  Skyline’s aliens fall into that category. They are relentless, powerful and genocidal.  And there is NO explanation of what they are, where they come from and why they are making mincemeat of humanity.  This, I think, is where the film takes its biggest risk that I feel paid off but likely alienated some audiences (pun intended).

But consider how ridiculous it would be to have an alien species explain its motivations to you in some contrived monologue or have some scientist decipher their intentions in a matter of hours or days.  Or even how we’d have any basis by which to surmise their motivations, language or technology.  Consider whether other species even have motivations.

SPOILER ALERT: The film also eschews the Hollywood ending somewhat because there isn’t any deus ex machina to save the day.  Aliens capable of interstellar travel can almost certainly kick humanity’s ass.  No contest.  There’s no McGuffin a la Independence Day that let’s us pull a Hail Mary at the end to save the day.  The movie ends abruptly and sets itself up for a sequel.  END SPOILER.

Aside from the abrubt ending, Skyline gets it right.  The aliens are frightening, the story well told and the parts well played.  If you like everything explained to you though, then this movie might be a little jarring, but keep in mind truly alien antogonists are unlikely to tell you their motivations or have easily exploitable weaknesses.

FTC Advisory: We purchased our own tickets.

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Movie Review: Skyline, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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One Response to “Movie Review: Skyline

  1. DrewNo Gravatar
    1

    Another great movie review. I just sort of stumbled upon your blog the other day, saw the Paranormal Activity 2 review, and was very pleased, so I was even more pleased when I came back and discovered this review for yet another movie that I was on the fence about seeing. 10 stars to Dark Faerie Tales!

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