The 8th annual Father/Son Movie outing occurred on November 18th, and for the second year in a row, included my friend and neighbor – Chris Smaling.
Based on an early summer teaser trailer, I had picked the movie, Skyline for our outing. In hindsight, I might have picked a little rashly, but from that initial trailer, it looked like this film had the potential to be a fun Sci-Fi film – one where aliens were coming to try and take over the earth, and the humans would fight back – e.g., Independence Day.
Skyline was directed by the Strause brothers, who have been responsible for the visual effects on some great films – (Avatar, Iron Man 2, Jumper, 2012…) but only other director credits for a feature length film before this was “AVPR: Aliens vs Predator – Requiem”. Unfortunately, this lack of experience really shows. The visual effects were awesome and stunning, just as the early teaser trailer showed, but the film and the story told was a complete jumbled mess that continued to get worse and worse as the film went on, to the point where I was squirming in my seat towards the very end, rooting for the film to just be over.
The two main actors of the film – Eric Balfour (Haven, 24) and Donald Faison (Scrubs) are both mostly known for their work in TV, not feature films. With the possible exception of Donald’s character though, most of the characters in this aren’t very likable. The basic plot centers around this group of friends and their significant others have gathered together for a birthday party in the birthday boys high-rise condo. When they wake up the next morning after partying a bit too much, they are greeted with an alien invasion that is going quite well for the aliens. In the first wave, they end up “sucking up” a large portion of the population of Los Angeles, the city most of the movie centers the story on. From here, the movie jumps from one borrowed plot-line or theme to another, never fully committing to any of them (you’ll recognize themes from Independence Day, Cloverfield, and District 9 – all great films in my opinion) which just leaves the viewers wondering why any of it matters. (Small SPOILER alert….) The aliens are basically indestructible due to regenerative powers, so the characters just spend most of the movie debating if they should hold up or make a run for it, and end up doing both rather poorly. Who doesn’t start rationing the working tap water when the world is under attack? Not these characters apparently.
Would definitely not recommend this movie to anyone, even hard-core Sci-Fi fans such as myself. The decent action scenes are not enough to compensate for sitting thru this mess of a film.
To end on a positive note though, the outing itself was a hit – proving once again, that good company and a fun tradition can overcome just about anything. My Dad, Chris, and I all enjoyed bashing the movie on the way out of the theater, and then moving on to other more stimulating subjects of conversation. Next year though, I’ll put a little bit more research into the movie selection!
Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame
The special effects were fairly top-notch, but this convulted attempt at a Sci-Fi film quickly lost its way and became such an utter mess towards the end that I found myself squirming in my cushy theater seat, ready for it to be over!