Skyline

The trailer looked so cool. It was such a mysterious teaser, I really wanted to see the film. But now I know why it was so mysterious. If they'd actually shown us anything of the movie except special effects shots, no one would have paid to see it.

Mind you, the special effects are great. After all, they spent ten million dollars on this thing, and none of that money went towards the script, that's for sure. But the alien ships hovering over Los Angeles look realer than real, and the aliens are intimidating and scary. They also, sadly, sometimes look like parts of the human anatomy I can't mention here, like those things from Splice. Only this is a different part of the human anatomy. It's a disturbing trend, anyway.

Anyway, Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Terry (Donald Faison, Scrubs), also known as J-Rock and T-Money, are best buds who grew up together. T-Money -- I mean Terry -- has made it big and now lives in LA. I think he's supposed to be an actor, but I couldn't tell and didn't really care. He has a fancy penthouse apartment where even the window shades are remote controlled, a pretty blonde girlfriend named Candice (Brittany Daniel), a sleek convertible, and a pretty brunette girlfriend named Denise (Crystal Reed). Yep, he has it all and then some.

Jarrod just has a girlfriend named Elaine (Scottie Thompson, who was in Star Trek, but I don't really remember her), and I didn't think she was all that pretty. I mean, she was, except she has lips like Liv Tyler, only more so, and I kept staring at them thinking how odd they looked. Had I been less bored, I probably wouldn't have noticed them so much.

It's Terry's birthday, and they all drink too much and pass out. At 4:27 am, they're rudely awakened by really, really bright lights outside. Alien thingies are landing -- maybe little ships, maybe things in power armor -- but they glow sort of blueish and hypnotize people into wanting to look at them. Bad Things happen when you look at them. The big spaceships hovering over the city are also hoovering -- that is, pulling people up into the ships with tractor beams or something.

Up until about this point, the movie was okay. Then it slowly starts to fall apart. They notice there aren't any aliens over the ocean -- I suppose there aren't a lot of people on the ocean at six in the morning -- so they decide to go there. That doesn't work. They try to hide. That doesn't work. Terry tries to shoot the aliens with a little handgun and they don't notice. Candice complains about everything because she's a spoiled brat. Jarrod turns funny colors. Elaine calls everyone else's plans terrible but never contributes any ideas of her own. David Zayas (The Expendables) shows up as the apartment manager, Oliver, and dispenses wise advice, or tries to. The script wasn't helping him with that at all, poor guy.

In short, it was boring and pointless. Things break, people die, and I just stared blankly at the screen, wondering if I was going to need a new notebook soon. I think they were trying to be like Cloverfield, but they couldn't do it. By Day 2, I didn't care about any of the characters, and I wasn't even interested enough to tell the guy two rows back to stop talking on his cell phone already. I sort of envied him having something to take his mind off the wasted seven bucks.

Two idols out of five. That's the absolute best I can do, and both of those are entirely for the special effects. If you want characters, character development, or anything remotely resembling a plot, change course now and head for Unstoppable instead. That's where I'm going tomorrow. At least there when I'm racing towards disaster, I'll have Denzel along for the ride.

Image: 
The real stars of the film: the alien ships and the things that go boom.

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