Thursday, December 9, 2010

Movie Bitch: Skyline

So I'm mixing things up a little bit, but I absolutely HAVE to write about this movie.

It wasn't ... bad. It was entertaining, in a mindless kind of way, and PARTS of it were definitely engaging ... the first time around. I am not sure I can sit through it again without rolling on the floor laughing.

First off, it was written, produced and directed by the special effects company that did the aliens. And while I firmly believe one of the reasons District 9 was not just awesome but AWESOME is because Neil Blomkamp had 3d graphics experiance, this really REALLY should have been my first clue and I wish to god I had known this before I went to see the movie. And I will sport the team that did it. They had a very small budget (ten to twenty mil, according to Wikipedia) the effects are good and they may be okay at directing and editing. No one who worked on this project should ever be allowed to write anything, ever again, because the story is so flawed the movie cannot even function. It tries really hard to be an alien invasion/sci-fi movie and it's not. It's a monster movie in all possible respects and the monster is a fucking lens flare. They spend the entire movie running away from a Photoshop filter, guys.

Our opening scene is an apartment that has been utterly trashed by a party. A woman I will call Girlfriend (Wikipedia says her name is Elaine, but I couldn't remember her name without checking, so from now on, she doesn't have one) gets out of bed to go puke in a toilet. Given the empty beer cups all around her, you would think she was hung over. Her boyfriend, Jerrod, gets out of bed. He is the only person whose name I can remember. There is a REALLY bright light shining in through the windows, which are covered in shades and vibrating. He walks out into the living room where a woman, henceforth Sweet Girl, is pointing at the window and screaming. Jerrod looks out the window and his face sprouts this strange, brown, vein looking pattern that grows the longer he looks into the light. End scene.

We cut back to fifteen hours ago, where Jerrod and Girlfriend are flying on a plane, and all of a sudden I have Left Behind flashbacks. This will not end well. Jerrod is working on a scrap book using crayola markers. This, his butterfly tattoos and some dialogue later shows us he's an artist. He tells Girlfriend about his highschool/college buddy I will call Gangstabe. Seriously, the guy has a severe case of Trying Too Hard going for him. It's Gangstabe's birthday and they're all going to the party. They land, get picked up by Gangastabe's driver, and get taken to Gangstabe's penthouse apartment.

And the most noteworthy moment in this movie occurs: They play Kings and Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars while the car is driving down the highway. This is probably my favorite moment in the movie, because I really love this song. I mean, listen to it:

That song is awesome on toast. It could make breakfast feel like you're skydiving. But note what I said: We're about five, ten minutes into an alien invasion special effects extravaganza, and THIS is the coolest part of the movie.


So we get to the apartment, where we officially meet Gangstabe, Sweet Girl, his assistant, his girlfriend, henceforth Blond Bitch or BB, and Ganstabe's apartment, the most important character in this movie. One quick look around Gangstabe's apartment, and I assume that he's some kind of rapper/hip-hop/music mogul, because everything has that kind of feel to it. I hate it already.

We transition to the pool, where Sweet Girl and Gantstabe imply they are doing it, and Blond Bitch gives them a reason for doing it. She has this look on her face like someone dumped eu-du skunk in her perfume, she says NOTHING nice, and she immediately demands that Sweet Girl get her some kind of alcoholic beverage the second she sits down. They talk. And talk. And ... talk. And pan around the apartment complex. And talk about Ganstabe's boat. And his car. And how wonderful his life is. I'm starting to get board because, you know, this is an alien invasion movie that I'm attending because the trailer had those long, loving shots of awesome space ships, and I want to see those. Also, the whole "rich quasi-black rapper/music guy" thing got cliche about five years ago, and I do NOT want to be reminded how much better you could be financially if you whore yourself out. Gangstabe's got this aroma of skank about him that has nothing to do with his girlfriend.

Then we cut to Gangstabe's birthday party, where there is a lot of standing around, drinking, loving shots of furniture and mixed drinks and girls in skimpy bikinis art talk and WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE ALIENS ALREADY and ... wait a minute. Art talk?

This guy goes RUNNING up to Jerrod and Gangstabe, mixed drink in hand, and Gangstabe asks him how the robot something or other fight was going. Random Dude says "It sucks, but the director loves it". I think "Oh my, how nice, this is Gangstabe's friend." Random Dude turns to Jerrod and says "I am so glad you're going to be joining the team!" Girlfriend gives Jerrod a look, Jerrod gives Gangstabe a look, Gangstabe gives Random Dude a look and ...

Ho. ly. Shit. Guys! GUYS! GUYS! GANGSTABE RUNS A SPECIAL EFFECTS COMPANY. In a movie that was written, directed and produced by the special effects company that did the aliens and space ships, one of the primary characters runs a f/x company. And Jerrod was invited to LA, to the birthday party, so that Gangstabe can recruit him, which means that Jerrod has some kind of f/x experiance as well.

I know that I'm kinda living in a glass house here, because I wrote a book with a main character who is also a writer, but I had a reason for that. Webber's MC has a window into this alternate universe, and one of the bigger parts of the plot is how she kind of got everything she saw wrong when she wrote her book. It's an integral part of the plot (and probably the biggest reason nobody wants to publish the thing, but anyway) In Skyline, the special effects thing NEVER COMES UP AGAIN. Which is kind of dumb, because having effects training could probably be useful when you need to improvise weapons. I mean, Mythbusters, anyone? Non-dairy creamer cannon? HELLO???
In case of alien invasion, having something that could do this when combined with a vacuum set to "blow"
would be very useful. Just sayin'

So anyway, they all go into the apartment, where Jerrod and Girlfriend retreat into a bedroom to discuss the job offer, because we need to have conflict in our alien invasion movie, and as the aliens haven't shown up yet AT THE TWENTY MINUTE MARK we need to introduce a plot that will become absolutely meaningless in another ten minutes. As they're talking (Girlfriend doesn't want to move to LA) we see Sweet Girl exit the glass fronted bathroom someone has OBVIOUSLY been screwing in, meaning you can see it as it's happening, and Jerrod gives her a bitch, please, kind of look. They continue talking. Girlfriend tells Jerrod that she is pregnant, and Jerrod ... doesn't react at all. Then someone else exits the bathroom, Jerrod turns to scream at him and oh snap! It's Gangstabe. Because subtlty just is not this movie's strong point, and we might not have gotten the friction between Sweet Girl, Blond Bitch and Gangstabe. I'm starting to feel like I went to a filming of the OC instead of an alien invasion movie. And oh, yeah:


Then, while Jerrod and Girlfriend discuss the ONLY serviceable plot point in the movie so far (I mean, man protect family is cliche, but it'll last if the aliens ever get here) Gangstabe and his friends use a telescope to look through the automatic blinds on all of his windows so they can spy on the other apartments. They are looking for someone having sex. In front of an open window. With the lights on. 

Wow. I thought making your characters unlikable was a bad thing. 
And then they actually find a dude having sex on his couch, but the head of the person is obscured. We continue watching people watch a total stranger get a blow job in the privacy of their own home, until the blow-er comes up and is revealed to also be a dude. Ooohs of disgust ensue. So it's not just a party of trendy modern douchebags, but homophobic trendy modern douches. In 2010. Wow, movie. Just wow.
Once THIS is over, we are left with Gangstabe, Random Dude, Sweet Girl and Blonde Bitch, with Jerrod and Girlfriend in the bedroom, hopefully asleep. Gangstabe and Blond Bitch go to bed, Sweet Girl and Random dude have to fight over who gets the couch, and it must be said, Random Dude looks like he bathed in a fryer vat. Ew. Sweet girl hits the blinds, which slowly roll down so that everyone in the audience gets it: Gangstabe has automatic blinds on every single picture window in his apartment, which is pretty much wall-to-wall glass. I also think we get one more shot of Gangstabe and Blond Bitch getting set up for bed.

You know, I get that we're supposed to side with Gangstabe on this one, due to the personality differences in the two women in his life, but you know what? I am really REALLY tired of love triangles, they're a cliched plot device intended to inject more conflict and interest into a flagging plot, they're overused, and in my mind they aren't really that realistic 90% of the times when they appear. In a properly done triangle, one person (usually the chick) can't decide between two other people for one reason or another. This is realistic when the point person is married and/or has made promises to the other person, and everyone in the triangle is naturally monogamous. However, due to the veneer of skank all three members of the triangle have, this doesn't hold water AT ALL. Gangstabe is VERY obviously not naturally monogamous, as he's banging Sweet Girl in his best friend's bathroom while his best friend can see him through the door. Blond Bitch has to know this, because she has no idea they're doing it but she very obviously suspects it, and Sweet Girl would really be Skank, but she's one of the cutest actresses I've seen onscreen in a while, and I just can't bring myself to call anyone that adorable "skank". I have several polyamorous friends, I've learned a little bit about how they make their multiple relationships function, and you know what? It's a much, much, much MUCH better alternative, it's more realistic, and from what I've seen, it's probably healthier than serial monogamy seasoned with cheating. This entire sub-plot ends the second the aliens show up (remember, they ARE in this movie, somewhere) so there is no reason for this to be here. It doesn't develop the characters past the cardboard cut-out stage, except it makes us hate both Gangstabe and Blond Bitch. Given how cutting edge the writers make Gangstabe, and how prevailant polyamory seems to be in artistic/creative circles, is there a reason why we had to go with a cliched love triangle between three minor characters? Our main character is JERROD, his primary support cast is GIRLFRIEND. WE NEED TO CARE ABOUT THESE TWO PEOPLE, WHY ARE YOU WASTING TIME ON A GANGSTER-WANNABE AND HIS SKANKY GIRLFRIENDS?

*deep breath*

So the blinds go down and Sweet Girl gets the couch and finally, FINALLY, lights start falling from the sky. Big globes of light. That immediately make lens flares in the cameras. Which have to be digitally inserted into the film, because modern movie cameras do not make lens flares. We see cars stopping, ground rumbling, people we do not know get out of their cars and begin walking towards the light. Cut to the Apartment, where Random Dude sees the light through Gangstabe's blinds. He hits a control on a random panel ( that an iPhone/iPad? Seriously? SERIOUSLY?) and one set of blinds go up. Note that he never has to actually find the right button, he just hits a random button and the set of blinds nearest to him and ONLY that set of blinds go up. His face immediately begins crusting over with patches of brown veins and he begins walking towards the bright blue lens flare in the middle of the screen. Sweet Girl is awake and begins asking him what he's doing. Random Dude is completely mesmerized, hell, he's almost drooling. He's got enough brain left to get the sliding glass door open. He goes out onto the balcony, and the lens flare eats him. I mean it, you can't see what's behind that light, it literally looks like the lens flare consumes Random Dude. Sweet Girl starts screaming.

This wakes up Jerrod, who runs out into the lens flare and starts getting the vein patches on his face. His eyes cloud over and we, the audience, are finally caught back up to the beginning of the movie. Jarrod gets tackled by Gangstabe and Sweet Girl hits the blinds, thus saving them all from that terrible bright blue lens flare. After Jarrod's vein patches fade, the light cuts out and the movie cuts to outside. Which was pitch black and is now dawn. I got the distinct impression this was between four and six o'clock in the morning, so I was VERY pissed at this time jump, and even more pissed when we cut back inside the apartment and it looks like it's fucking NOON outside. 

Gangstabe and Jerrod discuss their options and decide to go out onto the roof to see what's going on. Gangstabe produces a gun. I should have mentioned before now that he is the only black character in the movie. I go out of my way to avoid even TALKING about race because it's a very touchy issue with me. I grew up around relatives who were very, very racist and I never, EVER want to be that way, and I also don't want to call "racist" because it's entirely possible that the writer was just being stupid. And yet Gangstabe is the only guy with a gun in the entire movie who is not military. Now, I live in Texas, and it is not entirely unusual for someone to have SEVERAL guns in their house, but you know, not everybody has one and when we do, the one we're most likely to go for is the shot gun and/or rifle type, because that does more damage and is far more effective at making home invaders shit themselves. Also, Gangstabe lives in a penthouse apartment in a complex with multiple pools, a chromed outside and more security than the White House. THERE IS NO REASON FOR THIS MAN TO HAVE A GUN. It is NEVER used effectively in this movie. It is just there because one of the writers thought it would be in character for Gangstabe to randomly pull a hand gun out of his pants. Which is odd, because nobody, not Jerrod, not Blond Bitch, NOBODY ELSE thinks it's in character for Gangstabe to have the gun. They keep asking him why the fuck it's there. It's almost as if the writer's subconsious thought it was kind of stupid to have RANDOM USELESS GUNS in the movie.


So they go out onto the roof. And in a scene ripped directly from Independence Day, they see the alien space ships come out of the clouds, drop lens flares and suck people up through ... I have no idea. Its as if they saw the scene at the end of District 9 where the mothership sucks the drop ship and every particle of dirt around it up via some kind of transport beam and thought "Damn, that looks cool ... what if we did that with people? Only we didn't show a beam or any other mechanism for the sucking up of people? Or give our aliens a reason to abduct several thousand people at once? And then zooom the camera through the CGI people so the audience can hear the screaming, and then cut back to the main characters WHO ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT REACTING TO THIS AT ALL? wouldn't that look cool?"

Then the ships start shooting out what looks like flying snot with fiber optic tentacles. There's a little more structure than that, but on first impression, it looks like the space ship hocked lugies. These go zooming around through the air, and it FINALLY occurs to Jerrod and Gangstabe that standing on the tallest roof in the vacinity during the alien invasion is probably not a good idea. So they go running back to the door, only to find that it has closed and locked behind them. Gangstabe berates Jerrod for not blocking the door open and then starts shooting at the lock, which does absolutely nothing to the lock. They start scrabbling at the door. Then Jerrod stands back for no reason, attempting a "something is watching me" expression, while an alien floats up behind him. All we see are tentacles, and if you took a bunch of pipe cleaners, dunked them in Gangstabe's hair gel and stapled them to a fiber optic cable, you'd have what these CGI tentacles look like. No sooner do we identify the tentacles than they break into spontaneous lens flare, and the guys continue screaming and shooting at the door instead of IDK SHOOTING THE ALIEN BEHIND THEM.

Girlfriend opens the door and gets the vein patches, which I shall now call getting flared. Jerrod saves her, Gangstabe shuts the door and Girlfriend goes all spaz while they head back downstairs. They go into the apartment, inform everyone that the aliens have landed and discuss their next move. Girlfriend and Blond Bitch want to stay in the apartment, because they're safe. The almighty power blinds shall protect them from the terrible lens flare. Jerrod and Gangstabe both think this is a really dumb idea. Gangstabe notices SOMEHOW (remember, the blinds are down. Also, all television anchors have been abducted, no one can replace them and the phones are down) that there are no space ships over the ocean so he decides the aliens don't like water and the best thing to do is get to it. We are ripping off Signs.

He has a boat, so the best thing he can do is go steal his neighbor's car so they can get to it. Right. His neighbor is an old man named Mickey.

The alien pipe cleaners invade Mickey's apartment, and while Gangstabe cowers behind a kitchen counter WITH HIS GUN, the lens flare eats Mickey. Great going. But he gets Mickey's car keys, so ... mission accomplished, I guess. He goes back to his apartment, and with the aliens proving apartments are not protection against lens flares, he manages to convince Girlfriend, Blond Bitch and Sweet Girl to leave. He grabs his car keys and hands them to Jerrod. Gangstabe's first impulse in time of trouble was to steal his neighbor's car and he already had a car. PEOPLE DO NOT ACT LIKE THIS WHY IS THIS HERE???

He says something about how the faster he gets his boat going the sooner they can leave, so they ought to split up so he can get there faster. DO YOU PEOPLE NOT WATCH THE MOVIES YOU ARE RIPPING OFF? SPLITTING UP DOES NOT END WELL. They go down to the garage, pile into the cars, open the gate and drive past a couple loading suitcases into their car, because we must establish the existance of cannon fodder before it gets eaten. The second gate gets opened, Gangstabe and Sweet girl ease their car into the open (thus leaving Blond Bitch with the main characters. Shit) and immediately get stomped by the most impractical thing I have ever seen. I get the impression that the aliens use an organic tech base, but why do you need a monster half the size of this apartment building? Gangstabe falls out of the car (we assume Sweet Girl is now strawberry mush), starts running towards Jarrod and co. The monster thing (Wikipedia says it's a "Tank". Okay.) shoots out tentacles, which grab Gangstabe and suck him into its foot. 

Then the pipecleaner monster appears, and we see the rest of its body. It's a lens flare, the skull of an Independence Day alien, and the pile cleaners. It moves them like spider legs even though the thing is clearly HOVERING off the ground, and Jerrod floors the car into reverse as the lens flare chases them into the building. They get to the gate and get it open, only to see OH FUCK ANOTHER LENS FLARE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE GATE. Without asking how it got there, they back up, shut the gate and plow head-long into a pole. They get out, grab the female half of our previously established cannnon fodder (The male half having been eaten) and they start running through the parking garage.

This scene is why I keep calling the aliens lens flares. While they're running, all you see 85% of the time are blue lines of light across the bottom of the screen, growing brighter as the alien gets closer, accompanied by that high pitched shining sound movies like to use with scary bright lights. Our main characters are literally being chased by a bad photoshop effect. Yes. The lens flare is stapled to the front of a scary alien and is merely heralding its presence in the scene but ITS STILL A LENS FLARE. They get to a door, get stuck, start screaming, the lens flare is getting brighter and brighter and brighter, we can see the pipe cleaners now, but because I am now aware of the photoshop effect, I am not scared. Then out of NOWHERE, a suburban smashes into the alien and the building's superintendant gets out. And while he looks nothing like him, all I could think of was the comedian Sinbad, so that's his name. Sinbad and Female Fodder discover that Male Fodder is still alive inside Giant Independance Skull, so they pull him out. He's covered in goo and disorented (given that he was just eaten, it's understandable), but he could probably make it. Then the not at all dead alien grabs him by the skull, and explodes his head in a bright aura of light. The thing removes its own brain and inserts the now dead cannon fodder's, which revives it so it can continue its rampage.

I let this go in the movie, but Fridge Logic made me choke on it. I will ignore the HUGE number of reasons why an alien biology would be unable to sustain a human brain for ANY reasonable length of time, because I think the basic premise of this idea has potential. Also, I do not like it when people say "Biology doesn't work that way" whenever aliens are involved, because 1. it's non terrestrial biology, nothing says Earth impossible=universally impossible and 2. SCIENCE HAS BEEN PROVEN WRONG BEFORE. But why does it IMMEDIATELY start rampaging again? If this were a heart or a lung or some other organ, I'd spot the writers the point and keep watching, but the brain is the center of human thought and personality. The alien, at this point, does not have a brain. WHY DOES THE HUMAN BRAIN NOT CONTROL THE ALIEN BODY? It's not the shit that happens before the fodder's head went 'splody, though I'll explain that later. These questions seem nit-picky now, but when you get to the end of the movie ...ugh, let's just go on.

So Jerrod, Girlfriend, Blond Bitch and Sinbad go back to Gangstabe's apartment because it's the safest place. They have a giant alien half the size of the building rampaging outside and Independence skulls with lens flares EVERYWHERE outside, but the apartment is the safest place. Because we have blinds. RIGHT. 

The main characters Do. Not. Leave. This. Apartment. This is the camping scene in Deathly Hollows. This is that half of Breaking Dawn where Bella Swan is pregnant and we jump into Jacob's head for some reason known only to Stephenie Meyer. At one point we literally start fast-forwarding through the movie, and it's not me, that's how it's edited, to show that THEY DO NOT LEAVE.

Then we get cool scene the second, in which a bunch of preditor planes, you know, these guys:

Start sheparding a bunch of what I think are stealth bombers towards the space ships. 

And this is the point where any reasonable human being turns to Sinbad, says "Told you we should have left the fucking apartment", kisses his girlfriend and then dies while the atomic fallout fries his corpse, because everybody in the universe should get that a bunch of bombers means the big boys have broken out the big toys. Instead everybody stares at it, AT THE ATOMIC BOMB while it blows up the space ship, and then watch (after watching the bomb blow up) the alien ship crash land. And the celebratory music starts up and the people start laughing and clapping each other on the back, and although it feels as if it's been fifteen hours in, the audience knows the movie isn't over because none of the main characters have done anything yet (and also, Blond Bitch is still alive. At this point I was only watching to see how she would die).

The ship vomits up a bunch of aliens and begins repairing itself. Fuck, there's more movie.

Jerrod turns to the others and says, essentially, "Can we please get the fuck out of LA now?" I think this is quite reasonable at this point because the city is now literally radioactive, but apparently nobody else does. Girlfriend is as vehement as Sinbad, and I wanted to scream "BITCH YOU ARE PREGNANT GET OUT OF THE FALLOUT ZONE WHILE YOUR CHILD STILL HAS ONLY ONE HEAD" but Jerrod agrees to stay. We also find out that the vein patches are reappearing on his skin, even though this has not happened to anyone else in the movie. 

Then the army shows back up, and because predator drones and NUCLEAR BOMBS have failed, they've decided to send helicopers, humans and guns. Jerrod, who gets my vote for only sane human in movie, says "HELICOPTER WE CAN LEAVE NOW" and everyone else says "ALIENS!" and the copter flies away. Jerrod suddenly hulks out on Sinbad, going all veiny in the process (WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO HIM? AND ONLY HIM?) grabs Girlfriend and goes to the roof. The army guys see him, go HOLY SHIT THERE ARE STILL HUMANS IN LA? and immediately summon the chopper back to get them. And because letting ANY character survive this movie is too much to ask, the chopper gets killed, the soldiers get killed, one of the Lens Flares eat Blond Bitch, thus making the most odious character in the movie an off-camera death, and Sinbad blows himself and a Tank alien up (the Tank survives). Jerrod and Girlfriend tangle with a Lens Flare alien, who attempts to take Jerrod's brain when its own is clearly, perfectly fine. Also, Girlfriend kills it by throwing a fire axe into the brain. So they also clearly need the brain to function, and it's not like they've got a backup in there somewhere. Also-also, the pre-head 'splody shit has just happened to Jarrod, and he isn't going alien rampage, he's still Jarrod. They limp to a helicopter pad, and in a special effects extravaganza that tries hard to be a Crowning Moment of Awesome and fails spectacularly (at one point Jerrod and Girlfriend barely miss getting beaned by a falling jet, which just happens to kill the Tank trying to eat them. Seriously, there is so much fucking Deux Ex Machina in this movie I feel like I should start praying to the video projector) they ... sit down and give up. Girlfriend cries and cradles Jerrod's head in her lap, the mother ship parks directly over the apartment building and abducts them, and while they are flying through the air, they lean in and kiss each other.

And then came the part that seriously, seriously pissed me off. 

Girlfriend wakes up in the ship, un-lens flared, which makes no sense, the whole ship is glowing with it, and finds Jerrod, breaks him out of it ... and gets to watch as a giant pipe cleaner tentacle picks him up and 'splodes his head. His body goes flying off into a pit of lens flare, his brain starts glowing red (every other brain glows blue) and gets sucked up a tube. Girlfriend gets picked up, the aliens find that she's pregnant (...why does this matter?) and take her to another room. Jerrod's glowing red brain joins two others, and all three are inserted into alien craniums. And these are a third kind of alien that has never appeared before, that is just human enough to be something we can emote with. Two of the three aliens go clumping off to do whatever, while the one with Jerrod's brain just collapses to the ground. We cut to Girlfriend, who gets to watch another pregnant woman get raped by a machine. It's doing something else, but it look so very much like a rape it made my skin crawl. Alien-with-Jerrod's brain hears Girlfriend screaming in mutual terror, knowing that she, too, will soon be violated by alien tentacles, and suddenly Alien-with-Jerrod's brain becomes full-on-pissed off Jerrod, who goes smashing through the walls to get to Girlfriend. He stops the machine mid-rape, proves to Girlfriend that he's Jerrod by being protective (it ought to take longer). Girlfriend, rather than being horrified, immediately goes all lovey-dovey on Alien!Jerrod, Independence Skull alien shows up, Alien!Jerrod wheels to protect his family and ... we cut to the credits. Which are supposed to be still shots of Alien!Jerrod being awesome, but I was too pissed off to sit through all of it.

First off, that whole sequence is EXACTLY the kind of thing I went to see that movie for, and I could tell early in it was being foreshadowed. But ... why, oh why, oh why is Jerrod the only person immune to whatever mind-wiping effect being transplanted into an alien body has? The aliens need a brain to function, as proven when Girlfriend killed one, it's not the pre-splody lightshow, as that happened to Jerrod twice and it didn't do bupkiss to him the first time around, and just made his brain glow red the second, and there is NOTHING special about him. He could be your neighbor. You know, the one that thinks American Chopper and Jessie James are the height of TV.

I get that in D-9, one of the things about Wikus was that he was both Everyguy and also the ONLY human in his situation, but there was a damn good reason for that. And he wasn't this uber perfect hero. His Crowning Moment of Awesome is Awesome because he goes from being a racist (Speciest?) piece of shit to being, well, Awesome. It's the climax to not merely the movie, but also Wikus's character arc, the moment where he chooses that saving his own life, and any hope he has for a future with his family, is not worth letting his alien ally die. It's the emotional whammy of him choosing to lose everything to save Chris that makes the fight that follows fucking awesome. I seriously have never EVER seen anything that cool in a movie, and it's all because of the emotional stuff that happens immediately before. In Skyline, you do not care enough about Jerrod, you only care about Girlfriend because she's preggers and also Jerrod's girlfriend, and everything happens so damn fast (this is the last ten minutes of movie or so) that you don't have enough time to understand what happened. This scene SHOULD have been the kick-off for the climax, and the fight that follows, the climax of the movie. Instead, it's the tagged on THERE WILL BE A SEQUEL shit, and the ONLY time Jerrod actually does something is religated to still shots during the credits.

The only reason I do not feel cheated seeing this in the theater is that it was entertaining. The effects aren't terrible, the alien designs don't ... uh, exactly suck and I'll admit, I really liked Jerrod. He's the only character whose name I remember off the top of my head, he's got a great puppy dog face, and in the end, he finally says "Fuck it, I'm saving my family" and actually tries to rescue Girlfriend instead of sitting in the apartment for the rest of his life. All of the problems in this movie are due to the godawful writing, and IMHO are a combination of bad plot/character development and also sucky event timing (Alien!Jerrod should have gotten at least twenty minutes of screen time)

So I'll end this with a word of advice to the company that made it (whose name I can't be arsed to look up). The next time you decide you want to make your own movie, hire a goddamed writer.


  1. "Girlfriend opens the door"

    Uh, why? Someone has been shooting randomly through that door. If I see a door and someone is SHOOTING THROUGH IT HOLY SHIT I AM NOT GOING NEAR THAT DOOR!

    Clearly all these people need to die before they can breed. Including Jerrod and GF.

  2. Already has a TV Tropes page. And it is not kind:

    Quote from the page: "Sony has accused the Brothers Strause of trying to capitalize on their upcoming movie Battle: Los Angeles, which also features an alien invasion in L.A. Sounds like typical overreaction to Dueling Movies, right? Not as much when you consider the fact that the FX for Battle: Los Angeles are being done by Hydraulx Filmz, a company owned by the Brothers Strause; Skyline's entire production timeline (from concept to completion) fitting entirely within the production schedule of BLA and Skyline's scriptwriters being both Hydraulx FX technicians who had no prior screenwriting experience."

  3. Unfortunately G/F and Jerrod have already bred.

    Also, no screen writing experiance? No shit. Wow. I ... totally guessed that.