“Skyline” is an odd sort of movie. Because, despite its lack of a coherent plot or likeable characters, an absolutely ridiculous ending and special effects that only exist as a resume for the effects person, the movie was at least interesting.In the opening of the movie, Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) fly to Los Angeles to visit Jarrod’s friend, Terry (Donald Faison). Following a night of partying in Jarrod’s penthouse suite, a mysterious light descends from the sky outside their window and everything goes crazy.
After the mind-numbingly slow opening to the movie, the movie becomes a weird combination of “Independence Day,” “Cloverfield” and most B-rated sci-fi horror movies from the 1950s. The unique portion of the story is that the main group of characters never leaves the apartment complex over the course of the next 60 hours.
This is where the movie’s plot goes horribly awry. Rather than choose one, the story tries to tell a combination of Anne Frank’s story and “Independence Day.” Telling a story where the characters attempt to hide from the aliens is an interesting concept and could be an imaginative recreation of a story we all read in grade school.
Even if the directors Colin and Greg Strause went this route, all the characters were too stereotyped to be likeable. The troubled artist? Check. The stuck-up valley girl? Check. The Catholic zealot? Check.
I should admit that some of the most wonderful lines come from these characters. I laughed more at the terrible lines than I did through all of “Due Date.”
In addition, there was no way the Brothers Strause (Yes, that is the exceedingly pretentious name by which they refer to themselves) would let the story get in the way of the special effects.
Don’t get me wrong, it is impressive what they managed to pull off visually on a $10 million budget. However, at times the movie resembles a Syfy channel movie with a slightly larger budget.
Finally, the ending of the movie is a head-scratching moment if there ever was one. I get what happened, I’m not confused by it; it’s just insanely stupid.
Let me say though, for all of its shortcomings, “Skyline” is an interesting movie. I kept watching until the end, due in large part to the moments of almost brilliance. You can see where the movie could have been good, but the Brothers Strause continuously chose the greater of two evils.
In honor of my last article of the semester, I would like to give a special shout out to the “Harry Potter” franchise. Congratulations on seven movies. You have joined the ranks of “Saw” and “Police Academy.”