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Film Review: Skyline

The tagline for Skyline is “don’t look up”. Any audience member unlucky enough to be stuck in a showing of this film would do well to heed this advice, thereby avoiding an hour and a half of the worst Hollywood drivel from passing in front of their eyes. As advice to the protagonists of this film however it is wholly inadequate. It should also mention not to look outside. Or go outside. Staying inside is pretty terminal as well.

Invincible aliens have come to earth in this poor attempt at sci-fi horror. Who they are or, given the huge quantities they seem to require, what they consumed before they found such a bountiful supply of Homo Sapien grey matter is not explained, presumably so that the intricate human relationships between the characters remain in focus. Except of course that the characters are all about as 2-dimensional as a pressed flower and far less interesting. I struggled to care which of the characters would die next. In an attempt to elicit empathy, or possibly just to play cliche bingo, the script writer even tried making the lead female newly pregnant, which succeeded only in guaranteeing to the viewer that in true Hollywood fashion she would survive until the end.

You see, the trouble with invincible aliens is that, well, they’re invincible, so you might as well start using mustard for shampoo. The plot can be fully summed up extremely succinctly. Someone decides the best plan is to run, everyone goes outside, some people die, everyone left comes back in; repeat for one and a half hours until no characters are left and the audience is terminally bored. Once the full extent of human military technology is shown to be useless, any character’s survival brings more annoyance at the implausibility than sympathy for their plight.

Unless of course there’s a clever twist at the end. Have they taken a leaf out of HG Well’s book and made the aliens susceptible to waterborne bacteria to which we have natural resistance? Will a curiosity with what the native species ever saw in digital watches cause the alien master race to cease hostilities whist they undertake a 100-year anthropological study? Sadly no such ingenuity is on hand to rescue this film. They don’t even manage to go against the Hollywood grain and leave the viewer without a single glimmer of hope for humanity, for which I would at least have given the makers some kudos. Instead, they tack on a final scene after the movie should have by all rights ended and, well, all I’m going to say is I find it unlikely that one human possessed alien is going to do much to protect the future of his unborn child when a tactical nuke failed miserably to even dent the mothership.

Final verdict: less don’t look up, more just don’t look at all.