At least it's better than "Neighbor".

A guy and his girl go visit the guy's old friend at his exclusive apartment in the big city. They meet some new, generally shallow people, and things go kind of downhill from there. Oh, and then... space aliens invade. And no hilarity ensues.

Skyline” (2010)
directed by The Brothers Strause
written by Liam O'Donnell and Joshua Cordes
starring Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson, and Donald Faison

How Is It?
There's not much to say, really. It looks way better than it ever had any hope of being. The production value of the film is high, and nothing else about the film even comes close to it. The only things not done on the cheap in the film are the special effects. It's pretty bad, really.

The Players
Eric Balfour plays Jarrod, and Scottie Thompson plays his girlfriend, Elaine. Donald Faison plays Jarrod's best friend and old partner in crime, Terry. All three a decent enough actors. It's just with the lackluster script and pretty hackneyed story at hand, it was probably all they could do to go through the motions. They aren't the stars of the “Skyline” anyway. The aliens are, and directors Greg and Colin Strause made sure that's obvious. The actors are just there to get the audience to the next special effects shot, a grave disservice to them and to us viewers.

Behind the Camera
The writing is mediocre, at its best moments. “Skyline” is a rehash of every major alien spaceship invasion movie of the past fifteen or so years, and nowhere does it even try to be original. The dialogue is clunky, and the entire script is far too long. The biggest problem of the script is that it seems to have been made to service the visual effects desires of the Strauses. It comes across as a story and script built around preconceived “cool moments” and/or “awesome visuals”, not a solid (at least least serviceable) story and script from which such moments and visuals would be inspired. For the most part, when the characters are talking the film is really quite boring. The script seems accidental.

The physical production cost of the movie was around $500,000. The special effects budget was somewhere between ten and twenty million dollars -- going into CG aliens, space ships, aerial battles, and lots of blue lights. It looks good, of course. Though the aliens and the ship are blatant rip offs of popular movie alien baddies we've seen many times, it was millions well spent. It's a technically well made film, but as directors, whose jobs are supposed to include drawing the audience in and sustaining interest, Greg and Colin are breathtakingly lacking. There is no sense of atmosphere in “Skyline” other its emotional vacuity. The Strauses made a video game, not a movie – and not a very good video game at that. Decent video games at least engage you and keep your interest throughout.

And the film's ending, if indeed one could call it that, is just absolutely cringeworthy.

The Verdict
Skyline” is a prime example of the all too familiar problem of spectacle over substance. It's not a good story, nor is it well told. There's no story to speak of. The whole film is an excuse for big CG effects, and that just doesn't cut it.

Skyline” is like “Birdemic”, just with better effects and no fun in watching it whatsoever.

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