People going in to see Skyline expecting to see a run of the mill alien invasion movie will be sorely disappointed. What they’ll get is a below average alien movie that’s suffering from kleptomania.
Skyline starts with a group of people waking up to find a mysterious blue light outside their windows that inexplicably makes people disappear. Right as it starts getting interesting, the movie says, “Oh, I’m sorry. Let me introduce everybody.” Then the movie skips back to 15 hours before to bore the audience with a storyline that has nothing to do with the actual movie and does nothing to develop anybody.
Once the alien invasion (There never actually called “aliens” officially by anyone, but they drop from the sky so it’s just assumed) finally kicks in, it’s shown mostly from one of the character’s high-rise penthouse apartment. While this could’ve made the tension of being trapped inside with an unknowable force outside more extreme, it becomes annoying when the audience wants to see what’s outside the windows where the invasion is taking place.
This is the biggest problem with the movie. When people go to see a disaster movie, whether it’s alien or otherwise, they do it to see mass amounts of destruction. Character development and storyline are usually discarded in favor of watching large cities blow up and people running down the street from disintegrator rays. Skyline seems to think that people go to disaster movies for the drama and storyline, so that’s what it tries to give them. To make matters worse, the drama in Skyline is just like the drama in all the other disaster movies. The audience is forced to watch the worst parts of the movie while all the cool action happens just outside the useless windows.
Skyline steals nearly everything it has from other alien movies and does it badly. It steals trying not to see the aliens from Signs. It steals the intense dogfight scenes and nuclear explosions from Independence Day. It even steals the stealing people’s brains from the video game Destroy All Humans, and not to give too much away, at one point flat out rips off Alien itself. The movie’s only semi-original idea was that people would get sucked up on mass into the space ships. This gimmick was prominently shown in all the promotional posters for months. When it finally happened in the movie though, it was through a camera lens at a long distance, and briefly. Once again, the movie cuts the audience out of the action to make it seem more intense for the characters.
When the movie finally gives up with the stupid tension crap and actually shows the big alien apocalypse, the action scenes aren’t too bad. Coupled with the special effects it actually makes one or two intense moments, but the moments are too brief and coupled with more annoying drama, so it doesn’t even come close to redeeming it.
In the end, between the annoying drama, the unlikable characters and the flat out stupidity of not getting to see the action, Skyline just isn’t worth seeing. If you really want to get a feel for the experience it provides, watch Signs, War of the Worlds and Independence Day and in between each, watch a season of Party of Five.
Skyline is rated PG-13 for alien violence, some language, drinking and a little gore.