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Film Review: ‘Skylines’ Feels Overdone, but Offers Gorgeous Visuals

Skylines

For fans of science fiction, franchises based around space and aliens are seemingly never in short supply. From Star Trek to Star Wars to Alien, it feels as if most imaginable storylines involving aliens and space have already been created one way or another. Nowadays, attempts to craft a creative movie that revolves around these themes can prove challenging.

The story of Skylines is the third installment in the Skyline franchise. It follows Captain Rose Corley as she leads a team of soldiers on a mission to an alien planet in attempts to derail a virus that is turning friendly aliens that co-habitate with humans into dangerous monsters.

To begin, I personally have not seen the first two films in this trilogy. Luckily, this installment opens with a summary of the past movie, which is helpful and makes it so most spectators can watch this without too much confusion. However, the movie overall feels like a hybrid of District 9 and Aliens. The plot feels generic and overdone, and the film fails to bring much to the table in terms of uniqueness. 

Continuing with the overall feeling of copying space-themed franchises prior to this one comes actor Alexander Siddig, who plays General Radford. Appearance wise, Siddig looks like a generic version of a Luke Skywalker. Acting wise, he doesn’t bring much to the table, and it feels like the actor attempted to mash together multiple sci-fi characters to create his character.

The director and writer of this chapter is Liam O’Donnell, the same director and writer of the second movie Beyond Skyline and producer and co-writer of the initial Skyline. It feels wise to keep the same writer and director throughout the trilogy, and this adds to the idea that those who are loyal to these films and characters will be pleased with this addition. The 38-year-old writer and director has made a name for himself via these movies, and the question is: what will he bring to the table next?

Many of the fight scenes feel as if they are the same shots cut in different ways or placed on different backgrounds. They are martial arts and laser beam centric, and they lack diversity in terms of how these aspects are utilized. While they are impressive stunts and fight sequences, this movie could have gone much further in terms of creative action scenes.

Most of the positive aspects of this movie lie in the visual effects and costumes. Shots of space, spaceships, and intricate sets that were created in postproduction steal the show. It is clear that a lot of time and money was poured into transforming the film into a completely different world from the one we’re familiar with, which was a brilliant choice. This allows you to feel like you are transported to an otherworldly environment as you watch every scene.

Costume wise, there are impressive details that were incorporated into the alien costumes. Costumes for aliens Trent and Violet are so detailed and gorgeous, which should be recognized. Bravo to costume designer Lena Mossum for holding viewers attentions with her brilliant additions to this picture at times where interest is waning. However, these same alien costumes resemble the aliens in District 9 as they are tall with claw-type hands and similar faces.

While it’s hard to definitively say, it seems that if you are a fan of this trilogy and the prior films, you will also enjoy this installment. It may also hold true that if you have seen the previous two pictures, there may be more of a shock factor when it comes to certain plot points and twists. If you want to see for yourself, or if you’re a fan of the Skyline movies, check out Skylines in select theaters, drive-ins, and on demand beginning December 18th.

SCORE: ★★

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Written by Kendall Tinston

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