I don’t know if this is going to be a regular feature here on DDOY, but after having sat through a viewing of Skyline, I am having trouble trying to figure out how this flick ever made it past the pitch stage.
Every year, countless scripts are developed and ideas are pitched. Some end up not getting made and find their way onto the Black List (an industry generated lists of the best-non produced scripts) and others … well they gate made. Skyline just happens to fall into the category of “how did this get green-lit?”. Check out the trailer, and tell me that this doesn’t look like it would be a fun, sci-fi actioner.
The buzz heading into Skyline was that The Brothers Strauss (VFX gurus and directors of AvP: Requiem) made this movie on a shoestring budget (relatively speaking) of $10-20 million. I get that they were channeling their LA version of Cloverfield, but The Brothers Strauss inability to make any of their characters likeable or even remotely relatable harken back to some of the criticisms of AvP: Requiem.
Clocking in at 1 hr. 40 min., Skyline treats the viewers to no less than three terrible escape plans which result in nearly every character dying, and not once do you feel bad for a single one. The most thrilling sequence in the movie is when the U.S. military launches a counter-offensive against the alien aggressors utilizing a fleet of UAVs over downtown LA.
The trailer treated us to sequences in which the humans are transfixed by a blue light, generated by the aliens which essentially “mark” them for retrieval either by Giant Flying Vaccuum Cleaner, Giant Robot Dog, or Flying Spaghetti Monster. There are times where you think this picture is going to turn the corner, but you just find yourself accepting the fact that the story wasn’t fully developed to the point where it could be considered even remotely satisfying.
And why are the aliens here? Well ****SPOILER ALERT***** they need our brains. They capture us, rip out our brain and spinal cord a la Predator, turn them blue, and then plug them into their own bio-mechanical creatures. Now here is the flawed logic that I see. How is it the aliens can get to Earth with their blue-light energy if the need the human brains to begin with? How did they hurtle through the cosmos without the necessary … brain power. Get it? I made a funny. It’s not like they can stop by Alpha Centauri and pick up a couple human brains, as they only exist on Earth (or is there intelligent life really out there).
I don’t want to shit on The Brothers Strauss anymore than most of the critics did over at Rotten Tomatoes where Skyline is currently enjoying a 16% freshness rating. The concept may very well be a good one, but the entire time I watched the movie I felt as though the real story existed in a different location with a cast of characters that I wanted to get to know. During the promotion of this movie, the directors, cast, and producers hinted that there would be at least one more Skyline picture in the works … which I can guarantee will not happen.
After ejecting Skyline from my Blu Ray player the first thing that came to mind is the Academic Decathlon scene from Billy Madison, in which the principal derides Billy for his idiotic response to a question. I felt as though The Brothers Strauss should know that I was now dumber for having watched Skyline, and I award them no points.