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Skyline’: A disaster of epic proportions

Ankur Chawla | Monday, November 15, 2010

This alien sci-fi film may go down in history as one of the worst movies ever, with the likes of “Killer Clowns From Outer Space,” “Lawnmower 2: Beyond Cyberspace” and “The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?”

Despite great special effects and stunning cinematography, nothing could compensate for the poor acting and even worse plot. Moviegoers may actually wish or think they were abducted by evil extraterrestrials while watching “Skyline.”

The movie starts with wide and spinning camera shots of the city of Los Angeles, with sudden streaks of blue lights waking up the clearly hung-over main characters. They are attracted to the light like freshmen to the fro-yo machines at the dining halls. The first character to look out the window steps onto a porch and is sucked in by the light, apparently abducted by the aliens.

Right after this scene, a completely useless flashback to a day earlier tries to establish the characters and provide a background to the rest of the film. But don’t look too much into the “character development” as none of it is ever mentioned again and even the protagonist, Jarrod (Eric Balfour), has as much depth as the reflecting pool in front of Touchdown Jesus. What’s worse is after merely showing a few minutes of party scenes, the movie essentially replays the opening sequence of spinning shots and cool camera angles. Once again, the streaks of light appear and the main characters exhaustedly roll out of bed and go towards the light.

So much of the film is time filler and repeated scenes and sequences. For instance, at least seven seconds are used as the core characters are in a car waiting for a gate to slowly open, not to mention that every door they come across is locked and they must yell at each other to open the door. The biggest problem with this recurring theme is it takes time away from what could have been a thought provoking plot with dynamic characters. Instead, this movie is nothing more than a brainless thriller to find out if Jarrod will live or die at the end, and how or if the humans will find a way to stop the virtually indestructible UFOs from eating people.

A few bright spots exist in this movie, as Donald Faison (Turk from “Scrubs”) plays Terry, a successful actor, who is hilarious and interesting. It is a shame that his role was limited in the movie — had he been the star it may have been considerably better. In addition, the special effects were very well done and the story had a good base to go from but never The main characters escaped conflicted unscathed too easily, like the good guys never getting hit by bullets in older westerns.

“Skyline” is almost a comically bad movie, so if that’s your thing, by all means see it. I, however, was incredibly disappointed with the awful plot, or lack there of, and hope to spare you from a similar experience. “Skyline” barely deserves to be on the Sci-Fi Channel, and certainly would barely deserve your time.