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One of the Top 10 Alien movies
I'm so excited to write the "Skyline" review I almost can't. I don't know if you noticed but the site leans a little towards the Sci Fi and superhero persuasion. That's because not only am I a movie buff but a HUGE alien conspiracy theorist as seen in some of my other posts. Skyline wound up to be my definition of a great alien invasion survivor movie.
Here's the plot:
After a late night party, a group of friends are awoken in the dead of the night by an eerie light beaming through the window. Like moths to a flame, the light source is drawing people outside before they suddenly vanish into the air. They soon discover an otherworldly force is swallowing the entire human population off the face of the earth. Now our band of survivors must fight for their lives as the world unravels around them.
The movie felt original. There are a ton of alien invasion movies out there so for this one to stand out was shocking. I'll start with the special effects. The alien are a mixture of tech and organic life forms. The best ones being huge alien rovers that are about 10 stories high and reminiscent of the Rancor monster in "Return of the Jedi". The combination of these parts made the aliens seem indestructible and made me have an underling feeling of hopelessness for the characters throughout the movie. The ships were massive and brilliantly composed of the technology constant with the aliens that came from the ships. The effects never left you felling like this couldn't happen or pulled you out the movie.
I've heard lately that people are knocking the cast and the story, but I found the story refreshing and the acting superb. If we were going to be invaded by aliens this is most likely how we would act. I think people missed the point of this movie. The movie is a visual exercise the emotional survival of people put in a horrible situation. Most of the time when you have a group of people in survival situation studios feel the need to exaggerate the individual characteristics of the each person. "Skyline" took the other approach and showed what happens in a group dynamic when tragedy strikes. Even when Oliver (David Zayas) gets into an argument with the lead character Jarrod (Eric Balfour) about his plan to escape and his changing (spoiler- can't say any more with out giving away a twist) you still have the sense that they will be together as a group struggling to stay alive. The actors bring a level of desperation most alien movies don't provide.
The casting was right on; especially David Zayas, Donald Faison, and Eric Balfour. These three brought the movie to life, but it was Balfour that led the pack. As the lead character he had the job of not only keeping the tone of the movie but blending in to group and letting the other character flourish. This was the first staring role for Balfour and he pulled it off wonderfully. I can think of at lest half dozen movies in preproduction he would be perfect for. I won't even talk about David Zayas. He one of the good ones and when he's in a movie you only expect great acting, and he delivered again.
I still can't understand how Donald Faison isn't a bigger star in Hollywood. This movie showcases how talented the guy can be. I want to say more about him in the movie but I can't spoil the plot twists for you. Let's just say for the part Faison has in the movie you will enjoy ever second.
All the female characters. The lead female character played by Scottie Thompson as Elaine came off as weak and whiny. The other two female characters played be Brittany Daniel and Crystal Reed came off as insignificant. They were more background then anything else. They did exist with in the group, but could have had a bit more presence in the movie.
The worst thing that happened to this movie was it was advertised as an "Independence Day" type of movie. It should have been billed as a survival movie not as an alien invasion movie. Even though it may have followed the same theme "Skyline" had a better plot, writing, and organic feel to it.
Skyline has become my 1# alien movie. From great new aliens to having a great story I would recommend this for anyone interested in the alien genre.