Artificial Continuum

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Only several times in a decade does a film like Skyline come about. A film that manages to fail so tremendously that it some how manages to become an entertainment success. Like such atrocities as The Room or the best of the Syfy Channel, Skyline is so monumentally awful that it becomes a memorable experience.

The film follows Elaine (Scottie Thompson) and her boyfriend Jarrod (also known as J-rock)(Eric Balfour) on a trip to LA to visit their successful friend effects guru friend Terry( T-money), played by Donald Faison. While partying up and experiencing drama typical to young hipsters, the group becomes intertwined in a planetary wide alien invasion.

The film's premise attempts to follow along the same lines as Cloverfield, following catastrophic events through the eyes of ordinary people. Unfortunately for Skyline, this has been executed much better dozens of times before it.

Even outside of the film's unoriginal premise the script is a muddled mess. The character's are annoyingly one dimensional and behave like imbeciles through their entire time on screen. In fact, a common pass time for J-rock and T-money seems to be watching homosexual couples have sex through a telescope. Dialogue is flat and sometimes insultingly stereotypical. The plot also moves about at a sporadic and uneven pace, and reaches moments of horrendous tedium.

Little more can be said about the acting. Every character in the film comes off as incredibly bland and uninspired. Whether this can be blamed on the capabilities of the actors is unknown, but there is nary a sympathetic actor to be found in Skyline.

There are, however, glimpses of a better film within Skyline. The special effects are impressive and often believable, and the design work on the various alien creatures in the film is superb. There are even several standout action sequences, which are unfortunately harmed by the film's budget constraints and its unwanted attention on its main cast. There even seems to be some intelligence poking out through various portions in the script. The motives for the alien race featured in the film are left ambiguous and the few glimpses we are given are, while often humorous, sometimes fairly interesting.

Where Skyline does succeed is through its unintentional humor. Whether through its cliched and plot hole ridden script, the banal and annoying characters, or moments of sheer confusion, Skyline, with the right crowd, is a comedic tour de force. In fact in many ways, the film is funnier than most of the comedies we have seen this year.

Is Skyline one of the worst films of the year? Of course, but it is also a damn good time. While seeing the film at a full price screening is not recommended, a group viewing is sure to guarantee a good time had by all.

Score: D