Friday, 13 May 2011

Film Review | Skyline

Look! Pretty blue lights, there in the sky! Do you seem 'em?

Aren't they just... gorgeous?

Jarrod and Elaine can't take their eyes off them - like attracts like, I suppose. They're just a couple of beautiful people come to LA to live it large for a few days with an old buddy lucky enough to have hit the big time. Little were they to know that on their first night in the penthouse suite, pretty blue lights would descend en masse from the infinite... pretty blue lights with designs on global devastation, you know. Same old.

I didn't see Skyline coming until it was too late to catch it at the cinema. Having seen it now, on the Blu-ray, I dearly wish I hadn't cottoned on at all.

You can picture the pitch meeting, in some woefully anonymous boardroom in Hollywood. Some high-flying exec saying, "So we've got all these C-listers from the TV on retainer, right? And this script – maybe it needs a rewrite or two, sure... what doesn't? - but it's basically Cloverfield, see where I'm going with this? Cloverfield with blue lights, and it's. Just. Awesome. Money waiting to be made. So how about we get the TV people, throw a few million dollars at the effects guys, and hope for the best?

"He shoots, he scores! Am I right?"

Well. With respect, no sir, you are not. Skyline is a terrible film, among the very worst of 2010's genre offerings. A disgustingly derivative hand-me-down of an alien invasion flick, woefully self-serious and utterly uninvolving, it's a struggle to imagine how this mess could have passed through the hands of so many cogs in the great filmmaking machine without a one of them raising the red flag it surely deserves.

Saying that, the last 15 minutes are alright. With the invasion done and dusted, our surviving heroes - such as they are - make it aboard one of the motherships, and suddenly there's a sense of immediacy to the action, leavened by the complete and utter hopelessness of the situation. For a bit there, I had to stop surfing Twitter on my smartphone to pay attention... 

However, just as Skyline starts to get interesting, it ends. And I'd sooner gouge my own eyes out with a second-hand spork than suffer through the never-ending hour of beautiful people doing woefully stupid things while pretty blue lights shine from the stars it took to get there. Make no mistake, Skyline crashes and burns - even the scene of the resulting wreck isn't worth your time, money or attention. Avoid, under pain of defenestration.

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