Skyline is a trainwreck so horrific it cannot possibly be explained without video evidence. It is not only the worst movie released this year, it may well be the worst film ever to receive a theatrical release. It’s illogical, stupid and boring. It walks when it should run and runs when it should have ended twenty minutes ago. The premise is beyond any acceptable level of awful. The script, if there even was one, feels like it was hastily written in crayon on generic toilet paper. The acting is shoddy. The characters are unlikable. The first act sucks. The second act sucks even more. And the third act, through sheer unstoppable suck momentum, builds and builds like a sick avalanche of devastating putrescence until man, woman and child alike are all devoured by its gaping suck hole.
Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) are traveling to Los Angeles for his best friend Terry’s (Donald Faison) birthday. Terry works in the movie business in special effects, a field that apparently pays very well considering he lives in a plush condo, drives a sweet car and has a hot girlfriend (Brittany Daniel). She’s a total bitch for no clear reason, but oddly, becomes more sensible after discovering he’s been cheating on her. Terry wants Jarrod to join his company, but he’s unsure as Elaine is pregnant and doesn’t want to move. All these questions of life and drama quickly take a backseat though, as aliens invade and the two couples, plus Terry’s mistress (Crystal Reed) and an aggressive doorman (David Zayas) must hide to prevent capture.
Unfortunately, there’s really no good way to escape. The spaceships emit a blue light. If you look at the light, it sucks you in. The only way to avoid capture is to not look at the light, but with roving alien death squads forcing survivors out into the open, it’s pretty difficult to avoid. Plus, as Terry’s mistress astutely points out, the light is beautiful. Who wouldn’t want to look at such beauty? She’s right. Blue is a pretty sweet color.
What follows is a battle for humanity so savage and giggle-inducing that in another context, it could have become the stuff of made for television Sci-Fi legend. The aliens want as many humans as possible so they can steal their brains, morph them together with their own brains and form superbrains. The humans do not approve of this because the brain is essential to basic functioning. Its sheer atrociousness cannot be told; it must be appreciated in person, like a dinosaur eating a six year old girl. Yes, Skyline is that awful, though don’t for a second assume a want of superbrains is the only thing keeping this film from greatness.
There are at least ten things so miserable about this movie that if found in any other average, run-of-the-mill Hollywood picture, they would noticeably lower the quality. But here, each one is just another failure. Everyone, outside Donald Faison, is horribly miscast. The spaceships are so enormous and complicated they’re not even scary. The film’s occasional time updates are pointless and only serve to clarify how unbalanced and hurried the second and third acts are. The movie starts with a shot of its hero being drawn in and disfigured by a blue light. Then it jumps back fifteen hours to a plane ride. Occasionally, legitimate films do this as a way of teasing the climax, but the scene in question takes place and is re-shown no more than twenty minutes in. Do we really need to tease something that happens a quarter of the way into the movie? No, we don’t.
Skyline’s characters have no depth, originality or real reason for surviving. They simply make it through the first hour because they have to for the film to exist. Terry’s girlfriend is a complete bitch multiple times. She berates him for forgetting her drink, then giggles as he tries to pull her into the pool no more than ten seconds later. Is this bi-polar shit the reason he cheats on her? The hell if I know. But she’s not the only character with all over the board behavior. Jarrod goes out of his way twice to help complete strangers; yet, he repeatedly ignores his girlfriend and when he finds out she’s pregnant, he reacts angrily and says, “I’m not ready for this”. Is he a nice guy or a douchebag? He was better as the douchebag on Six Feet Under.
And then there’s the climax. Oh my God the climax. I have never witnessed anything so woefully outlandish in my entire life. Stealing elements of Tron, Avatar and Transformers, it hurtles toward a conclusion you think is coming, yet deep down, know is so preposterous it could not possibly be coming. Well, it comes and in doing so smothers any last hope Skyline had of not going down as the worst piece of shit 2010 had to offer.
I hated this movie, and you will too.
Reviewed By: Mack Rawden
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