Skyline (15/PG-13, 92 mins)
Directors: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This is actually a flash-forward and we go back to earlier that day to find out a bit more about them: there’s Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his pregnant girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) who’ve just arrived in LA to visit Terry (Scrubs’ Donald Faison) and stay at his fancy apartment, along with another pair of young ladies who remain largely anonymous.
Formalities over, we get back to where we came in, as they look out to see a giant alien craft that has opened up over the city and is lifting thousands of people into it, while smaller ships go from building to building hoovering up the stragglers. And then there are the aliens themselves to contend with....
Though far from a disaster, and not without its fun moments, Skyline is a bit if a waste of time. The biggest problem is that the whole thing is entirely absent of context, variety or nuance. There’s an attack, they run, someone might die, then they squabble some, followed by an attack by a slightly different beastie, then they squabble some more and run some more.
With its modest budget, the action is confined almost entirely to the apartment building and its immediate surroundings, which just adds to the sense of repetition and staleness. And while the visual effects sometimes really hit the spot, occasionally they're as sketchy as hell.
It’s also not in the least bit shy about pilfering from its forebears, so look out for the dogfight from ID4, the invasive tentacles and semi-organic stylings of WOTW, and any number of checkpoints from The Fly to The Matrix.
Throw in dull characters, a risible epilogue, a good deal of smell the fart acting and a score straight from Star Trek: TNG and you’d probably be as well giving an alien invasion movie from your DVD collection a spin instead.