Saturday, 13 November 2010

REVIEW: Skyline

Effects porn for comic-con douches who think Event Horizon was the best film of the nineties. Obnoxious enough?

So in today's second round of my TV heroes betraying me by making terrible movies theme, we have case number two, the Chris Turk edition. Again nothing could make me not love Donald Faison. He did this. He was one of the best things about a show I kind of loved for a long time, even when that show itself entirely lost its shit. He has too much good will in my book for me not not like him, even when associated to films like Skyline. To preface, Skyline comes from The Brothers Strause, the people who brought you Alien Vs Predator: Requiem. Or AVP2: Requiem if you will. I somehow saw that film twice, despite hating it immensely and believing to be one of the worst examples of film-making of my lifetime. It cast a geeky teen as the lead in a predator movie, it had hybrids, it was low-key and took itself way too seriously instead of amping up the OTT and the operatic like it should have done, and more importantly, like the word requiem implies.

Skyline is a marked improvement on that, but fundamentally the same problems remain. Its way too dour and self serious. Even Independence Day had a sense of humour. Its cast although TV centric to the point where that's become a punchline in almost every review, is not without potential. Donald Faison in a dramatic role was something I was interested in seeing, Dexter's David Zayas' trademark earnestness is perfect for this kind of thing and even lead Eric Balfour was good in Six Feet Under. Scottie Thompson has an awesome name. But nobody really comes out of this well, I guess the closest would be Zayas, who just does what he always does. Balfour in particular, is a painful mixture of bland and obnoxious, the kind of lead you just want to punch in the face the whole time. Plus he's named Jared. Thompson is the worst kind of screechy, irritating reasonless voice of reason that girlfriends always seem to play in this kind of thing. And while I like the idea of an Alien invasion movie told from the point of view of normal people, these characters are so utterly nondescript the gimmick doesn't work.

It feels as if this is absolutely the best movie a 12 year old boy could write, and all the storytelling foibles that come with. I remember when I was 12 I wanted to write about awesome Aliens and monsters, and characters, the people themselves were a necessary evil, included simply because Aliens contextlessly beating the crap out of each other is not a story. And the Brothers Strause seemed to have taken this wide-eyed, naive approach to narrative, something that can usually be quite endearing, and made it joyless, they excluded the one thing that could have possibly saved the thing, a sense of wonder, and instead made a movie that's got the worst things about adult and childlike storytelling and the best of neither. Still, I respect the intention I suppose.

Rating: 4/10

No comments: