Review of Skyline, from a Writer’s Perspective.

Skyline is the perfect example of how you can ruin a spectacular movie in the last three seconds.

This movie had everything.

Explosions? Check

Action/Adventure? Check

Well written characters? Check

Original? (Well, pretty much.  It felt a little like ID4 Independence Day shown from another perspective)

Great plot? Check (until the end)

Closure on all the characters?  Check (until the end)

From a writer’s perspective, let’s look at the characters.  There aren’t too many.  (Nine total, I think) and they are all easily recognizable.  This is a run-for your life move, so yes, not all of them will make it until the end, that’s a given, so not all nine are in the entire movie.

Each of the nine…even the two that only had a few lines, were wonderfully depicted, which is a show of not only strong writing, but also fairly decent acting.

Even though we only saw that character for a second, or a few lines, the lines or “happenings” were strong enough that we could relate to them, and we cared, even though they were not one of the main characters.  Also, to do that, we didn’t need their back story or to get too much into their lives.  We could just relate.

For instance:  There is a big loud party.  A security guard or building manager knocks on the door and very politely (and realistically) asks them to be quiet.  He walks away, knowing fully-well that they will not quiet down, with this precious look on his face.  I identified.  Haven’t we all been there?  The point is, a 30 second fully-rounded character that you can identify with.  Well done.

What was also great is that every minor character that we meet gets sewn up with an ending of some sort.  Some heroic, some unfortunate, but their stories are all completed by the end of the movie.

This was a five-out-of five star movie until the last five minutes.  As the movie was starting to end, I started to get that “awe shoot” feeling.  Realistic ending?  Probably— but I prefer something a little happier.  That’s just me though.

However, then it took a tumble.  A huge tumble.

I would love to know if this visually spectacular and probably hugely-expensive movie ran out of budget, and stopped production…because that is what looked like happened.

I will try to explain this without a spoiler…a major scene is happening.  One character turns and looks at a bad guy, takes a step… and the credits start.

The movie just stops.  Boom.  No ending.  No ending at all.  I have to say it again…

This is what really grates on my nerves.  This movie was SPECTACULAR until the last five minutes, but those last five minutes, though disappointing, were at least acceptable.  But those last three seconds?

If they had just gone on for five to ten more minutes, they could have finished.  But nothing is more disappointing that having a great time watching a movie and not having it end.

I mean, this isn’t even like Luke and Lea looking out the window while the Millenium Falcon leaves to go save Han Solo.  That at least faded into space and you knew they were doing something (and that there would be a next movie)

This movie just STOPPED right in the middle of a scene.

So disappointing.

Two Stars.  One for Awesome Special Effects, and one for great characters.

Five more minutes and this film could have been one of the best I’d ever seen.  Such a shame.

For authors:  FINISH YOUR STINKING STORIES.  Don’t leave your reader’s hanging.  I was loving SKYLINE, but instead of turning it off and saying “wow” I went to bed angry.

It’s never good to go to bed angry.

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19 responses to “Review of Skyline, from a Writer’s Perspective.

  1. You’re right. I went to bed angry last night. Not because of a movie. Because of the neighbors. Regardless, I’m avoiding this movie this weekend (thank you) so as not to compound on the irritation! Maybe they were trying to be like The Sopranos? I have a couple co-workers who are technical writers/aspiring writers and one of them prefers unhappy endings. He wants characters to die and not to know what happens in the end. Ugrghl! I can’t even think about that sort of story without getting stomach knots!

    • Are all the people around you misplaced Americans?

      • The obnoxious neighbors are likely Egyptian or Lebanese. The writer friends are a Brit/Welsh couple. I believe there are only 2 Americans on this compound. Sadly, most Americans here are oil company employed, with (many of what you’d expect) social and ignorance related issues. i.e. it’s okay to take “these people’s” money, but otherwise we’re socially/religiously/culturally “right” and they’re all terrorists. I don’t try to hang with those folks. Losing too many brain cells already here. Of course, if this compound were primarily American it would be a)cleaner b)filled with behaved children c)there’d be more bacon. ;) Either way, I’m still avoiding this movie you reviewed… I mentioned you in a recent post. Did you not see it? Or did I offend :( hope not…

        • Awe… It figures. I fall behind and lookie at me causing such turmoil in your life!

          See, now you can feel like a real writer. You have a deadline! :-)

          NOt offended at all by the way. I thought it was funny.

  2. It’s funny because I’d heard the movie was terrible. I went and saw it anyway because I like alien invasion movies. I turned to my hubby halfway through and said, “This ain’t so bad.” He nodded in agreement. Then the end happened. LOL! So fail.

  3. I hate when a movie doesn’t end. Personally, I don’t care about the happy ending (my endings are rarely happy) but something should happen. I’d have been angry as well. Hope you didn’t take it out on the hubby. :-P

    • Naw… He meant well. It was the kind of stuff I like.

      He actually liked the ending. He thought it left you guessing. I’d rather they both got knocked off. Then at least I would know what happened.

  4. Like you I enjoyed this movie too … wasn’t there something going on throughout the credits that kinda finished things off?

    • I don’t think so. If there was, I was too ticked to notice. We may have turned it off. I think I complained about it during the credits, though. I think I would have seen it if it continued.

  5. Skyline is the alien invasion movie right? I thought it was terrible from the start.

  6. I wasn’t thrilled with that ending either, but I figured it was due to the hope of a sequel. I’m with you. I want a concrete ending. Although I enjoy watching smaller, independent films, some of those end a little too abstractly for me as well. I want closure!

  7. Sounds like the rampant Hollywood disease “sequelitis”. You’re supposed to be hanging on tenter-hooks (for a year or more?) until the sequel comes out. Will you go see it just to find out of that scene continues? I’m with with you–finish the ducking story.