An author of Speculative Fiction, speculates about fiction.

Skyline

There seem to be a lot of sci-fi, aliens attack the earth movies out at the minute. Luckily they all seem to be really pissed at L.A. and not Slough, Brighton or Doncaster. The aliens in Skyline are no exception to this rule. They seem to avoid some others though. Most alien invasions begin with a single step in common: They study Earth’s movies so they know how best to shit us up. That’s why any invasion worth its weight in anti-matter begins with a single spaceship breaking through a bank of clouds. Then they align themselves over every Wonder of the World and major American city so that we know we’re truly fucked. And with the global population busy looting for clean underwear, they attack.

Easy on the eye make-up, Love

The aliens in Skyline have decided to shake it up a bit. They obviously saw the same movies but have far better attention spans (and popcorn storage) and so watched the whole film. Right to the end where the alien get their assess handed to them on the way out of our solar system. So the Skyline aliens devise a new plan. Send out a bright light that hypnotises the pesky humans and draws them to us, then we suck them up into our ships. Golden. You see, they don’t want our resources a la Independence Day, they want to suck out our brain and wear them as hats. Yeah, you heard me. These muddy funsters are some kind of Steve Buscemi mental.

Enter to the arena, our characters. A couple of normal people (definitions on a postcard, please) travel to LA to meet old friend, Donald Faison (Turk, Scrubs) who has made it big and is throwing a party. Enter David Zayas (Sergeant Angel Batista of Dexter) as an absolute legend. This guy can act anything he pleases. This time he just happens to be a bad-ass, as is Faison, to be honest.

With hangovers a plenty, the aliens strike. Sci-fi things happen from here on in. There are little aliens, and aliens with tentacles (I love a good tentacle in a movie) and then there are bloody great aliens that eat cars. Most of the film is spent avoiding the aliens with varying degrees of success and then arguing over what to do next. But the pacing is actually quite good and I didn’t get really bored at any point. It’s a little Cloverfield, and by that I mean it’s all about the people, not the aliens. If there were a little less shouting and a little more tension, they’d be on to a winner.

Good job it can fly, because you'd never get it parked

Let’s talk vision. The designers of these aliens were not only bat-shit mental but high, I presume. And somewhere along the line, genius occurred. I fully enjoyed these extra-terrestrials. Without wanting to spoil anything, they’re essentially made up of fibres. It’s a little like nano-technology meets fibre optics. That makes it sound like an 80s throwback. Trust me, it’s a good combination. You’d think the CGI to deliver that kind of thing would have to be pretty good, and it is. Very good. From aliens to ships to a weird effect the light has on humans is all executed very well.

But the trick is to the ending. It’s actually pretty good and totally not what I expected. It involves brains, as you might expect, and the mothership. But I’m not going any further. It’s a bit comic-booky, a bit quirky, and not totally terrible.

The overall feel of the movie is right, and there are some genuinely cool bits. It won’t knock your socks off, but it might just give you a tickle.

 

4/10

“Alien tentacles. What more can a person need?”

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2 responses

  1. It got a lot of flack, but I quite liked it. It was an excellent “check your brain at the door and let’s blow sh*t up” kind of movie. Which is why I go to the movies. Hello.

    And yes, alien tentacles are all a person needs. 🙂

    July 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

    • My thoughts exactly. A film can be good in many different ways. I just like films that are entertaining. If things blow up in the meantime: Bonus! Skyline felt almost like the origin story of an Image comic book.

      July 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

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