Star cast: Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel, Crystal Reed, David Zayas, Donald Faison, Neil Hopkins.
Plot: Extraterrestrial forces attack human beings in LA and threaten to kill all. A group of friends tries to survive the attacks.
What’s Good: The computer graphics and special effects..
What’s Bad: The simplistic screenplay..
Verdict: Skyline will not do much at the ticket windows.
Loo break: Not really!
Hydraulx Entertainment, Rat Entertainment, Relativity Media and Black Monday Film Services’ Skyline (UA) is a science-fiction fantasy drama. Strange lights descend upon the city of Los Angeles, distracting people and attracting them like moths to a flame. A group of friends is sleeping in an apartment after a night of partying. The friends are all rudely awakened by beams of light entering their apartment.
One of the friends dies when, exposed to the strong light, he vanishes into thin air by walking towards it. Soon, the other friends realise that a number of extraterrestrial forces have descended on LA and they threaten to swallow the entire human species. After the loss of one friend in the group, the others – Jarrod (Eric Balfour), his pregnant girlfriend, Elaine (Scottie Thompson), Terry (Donald Faison), Candice (Brittany Daniel) and Denise (Crystal Reed) – try to escape from the city at the first opportunity but they are unsuccessful. Terry and Denise fall victim to the extraterrestrial monstrous forces and are killed. Jarrod, Elaine and Candice manage to escape with the help of Oliver (David Zayas). The four now try to keep themselves safe from the piercing lights and extraterrestrial forces while hiding in a flat. Soon, they see airplanes in the sky combating the alien forces but the fight is very tough.
Jarrod and Elaine ultimately leave the apartment as they want to escape even as havoc is being wreaked in the city by the forces. Oliver and Candice are still in the flat when an extraterrestrial body sucks Candice away. Even as Jarrod and Elaine fight it out on the terrace with extraterrestrial forces attacking them from all sides, Oliver falls prey after a valiant fight in the apartment.
Are Jarrod and Elaine able to survive? What happens to the two of them and to thousands of people in Los Angeles?
The film has some excellent special effects and computer graphics to keep the audience glued to their seats. The visual appeal of the film is terrific. The havoc which the alien creatures perpetrate on the human race is both, exciting and very frightening. But the writers have not bothered to explain the background of the extraterrestrial forces and how they originated. Resultantly, the drama looks incomplete. Further, the police and the civilians firing at the extraterrestrial forces to overpower them looks too silly, if one may say so. Also, with so many similar films, in which aliens/extraterrestrial creatures/animals/machines try to finish mankind, having been released earlier, there is not much novelty in this film.
The ending leaves something to be desired, especially for the Hindi film-going audience. In that sense, the script (by Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell) is not too exhilarating.
Eric Balfour does well. Scottie Thompson is remarkable. Brittany Daniel performs ably. Crystal Reed is alright. David Zayas leaves a mark. Donald Faison has his moments. Neil Hopkins, Tanya Newbould and J. Paul Boehmer lend the desired support. The rest of the actors provide ordinary support.
Direction (Colin Strause and Greg Strause) is excellent. The directors have made the drama engaging and exciting without adding much newness, but the climax could’ve been different and more fulfilling. Michael Watson’s cinematography is extraordinary. Computer graphics are phenomenal. Editing (by Nicholas Wayman-Harris) is sharp. Background music score by Matthew Margeson is effective. Production values are very good.
On the whole, Skyline is an engaging entertainer but it lacks freshness and looks like one more of the many already-seen films. Also, given its unsatisfactory ending, it will not make much of a mark.