SKYLINE (Rated PG-13)  3 Stars

Todd and Amy hated it. Shane loved it. You know what? I found Skyline (92 minutes) utterly delightful. It was12-08-10-skyline.gif easily the best B-movie I’ve seen since The Mist (the first movie I ever reviewed, for those of you keeping a file). Ok, the film had its flaws. The acting was ludicrous. The characters were next to unlikable. The dialogue was sexist, outdated, and uninteresting. The “aliens” resembled rubber leftovers from a bad Godzilla costume. Nevertheless, for a cheaply made independent science fiction movie it was absolute perfection!

Jarrod (Eric Balfour, AKA toe sucker from Six Feet Under) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) are awakened under mysterious circumstances. This teaser leads into a flashback that provides some backstory on the couple. The first important thing we find out is that Jarrod is a real square-jawed hero type. He is a polite and well-bred young artist, sensitive to the needs of others and aware of the myriad obligations that friendship entails. Other than that he is kind of an immature jerk, but take the bad with the good. Elaine is a bit of a cardboard cutout, but she is super pretty and reminds me of Milla Jovovich, so she can stay.

The couple has flown into Los Angeles to celebrate best friend Terry’s (Donald Faison, AKA Murray from Clueless) birthday. They enjoy the party despite some awkward moments between Terry’s girlfriend Candice (Brittany Daniel, AKA Jessica Wakefield from Sweet Valley High) and Terry’s “confidential secretary” (Crystal Reed).

Finally, we get back to the scene that started it all, and we find out that an invasive light is compelling people to do stupid things while creating a totally gnarly black vine tattoo thing on whatever part of their bodies it touches. The men-folk head out to investigate (naturally), where they get to scream and run and bear witness to all the messed up alien stuff that the FX boys could put together on short notice.

Eventually they smarten up and retreat to their penthouse sanctuary. Of course, they immediately retreat to an inner room, fill up the bathtub and sinks with water, and ration supplies while developing a brilliant plan to evade and escape. HAHAHA. That so didn’t happen, because the characters are way dumber than the average bear! The twits decide to leave the relative safety of the condo and drive to the nearby marina, which works out as well as you imagine, considering the brain trust behind the plan.

On their way back into sanctuary they hook up with random concierge Oliver (David Zayas AKA Batista from Dexter). Oliver tries to bring the machismo, but his clearly superior skills are sucked into the massive black hole of idiocy created by two incompetents trying to out-stupid each other. That’s when the smoking, drinking, and fighting starts. Enter the Air Force! Surely they will save the day!

Nope. It’s just not that kind of movie. Instead of the Air Force saving the day, they up the ante by causing even more destruction, which is as awesome as it sounds. It is clear that the body count is going to mount up since there are way too many characters for the audience to develop a real emotional connection. In short order, alien pods, tankers, floaters, and matrix-style technosquids start sucking up delicious brains and coating captured humans with some righteous oily black slime.

So, overall I was laughing hysterically through most of the movie. There are a ton of plot holes, the narrative timeline is all screwed up, and the movie is filled with B-list “actors” elevated to relevancy by the presence of one David Zayas, who has some pretty good work under his belt. In other words, you need to see this immediately.

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