Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just saw Skyline

I don't think I've ever seen a movie that benefited less from being a "talkie."

****

I could just leave it there, but why?

You can't fault the special effects guys. The monsters were cool as hell, and the movie was just as visually interesting as the previews promised.

Skyline is kind of a cross between Cloverfield and War of the Worlds, with none of the intensity of the former and none of the brains of the latter.

Aliens suck all the people in L.A. up into their spaceships with tractor beans. Then, they drop giant monsters and flying octopuses with blue laser eyes all over the place to mop up the survivors. I know, cool, right?  Despite this, nothing really happens. When stuff is happening, Skyline is not a bad flick. But this is the plot: a handful of survivors hole up in a rich dude's Penthouse watching the invasion through a telescope, and then that scene from War of the Worlds where the protagonist and his comrade hide from an alien tentacle in a collapsed building is enacted. Several times. The first ten minutes of dudes getting ready for a party, and their party hijinks could have been removed entirely.

Spoilers come next.

There is some crap drama thrown in that has to do with infidelity (no shit, aliens are here to steal your brains, but take the time to get pissed at your boyfriend for shagging his secretary), but to make sure the drama does not impact the script in any way, two of the three characters involved are killed almost immediately (which is actually a great scene, and all too short).

Oh, and if aliens that can instantly reconstruct their spaceship after it is hit by a nuclear bomb come from a bajillion miles away to take your brains (Really. That is a spoiler.), grab a steak knife or a fire ax. Cause that shit will just slice the fuck out of them.

So, towards the end, I was thinking: The theme of this movie is "sometimes you just have to let go." But then, big surprise, in the most phantasmagorically gruesome way the theme gets translated back to "LOVE CONQUERS ALL" when the alien that has taken the bohunk's brain to power itself retains enough Love Power to protect its still human girl friend from the other, zombie aliens.

I love love. I love being in love (song lyrics, anybody? anybody? Bueller?). But is this really all we can write a movie about in America? Isn't that a little juvenile?

PS - They really came all this way to take our brains?

PPS - Also, after you kill the flying laser octopus that was blocking the stairwell down from the roof... you can use that to get back down, instead of the window cleaning scaffolding.