Monday, March 21, 2011


Can a small band of marines combating an alien threat make a good movie? Or are we going to get probed with this one?

The world is under attack! No one knows where this mysterious force came from or why they're here, but it is up to our military to help civilians still alive, and to combat the extraterrestrial threat.  Will the Human race survive? Will our planet still be ours in the end? Lets find out.

The film right away takes us into the action, with a montage of news reports, night vision from military combat, and home footage of this attack on our planet.  It shows the chaos of it all, and it may appear that we may not win.  However, we then go back 24 hours, to before all this happened, and we get to meet our cast. However, the cast is fairly large and to be perfectly honest I only so many by past performances and not by their names, except for two.  The first is Aaron Eckhart, who you may remember from The Dark Knight as Harvey Dent a.k.a. Harvey Two-Face, but this time around he plays Staff Sargent Michael Nantz, one of the older men in the marines who has filed his paperwork to retire, after he trains this last batch of recruits.  The other is Michelle Rodriguez, who everyone knows as playing the "tough spanish female," which she often plays.  She was in such movies as SWAT, Avatar, and Resident Evil, where, you guessed it, plays a tough cop, a tough soldier, and a tough special ops mercenary. Hey, if it ain't broke, then don't fix it.  She actually comes later in the film, but she does play an important part later on.  Anyway, during the 24 hours before the attack the Earth is expecting a meteor shower which is expected to pass through our atmosphere.  We see our cast doing such acts as meeting their wives, planning weddings, and getting drunk while playing late night golf.  The U.S. military ladies and gentlemen!  Later we then hear that these "meteors" seem to have struck parts of Japan causing substantial damage, and crashing down off the coast of Los Angeles.  However, it is not all as it seems, as the falling debris start to hit some of our navy ships and news cameras seem to spot human-like figures in the background and they start to approach the city via the beach and begin to attack the populace.  The marines are then deployed to help evacuate the area of this attack and we finally learn that the things that appear to be falling appear to be slowing down before impact.  The marines led by SSgt. Nantz are now on a mission to find any survivors, but soon they realize that they are the ones that must survive this invasion.

I'm just gonna come out and say it.  This movie is pretty much Skyline, but with a better budget.  The story is essential the same, except instead of giving us a group of idiot civilians surviving an alien invasion who don't know what they're doing, we get a group moderately intelligent soldiers who don't know what they're up against but make the decision to learn their enemy and to help make smart decisions later.  The biggest gripe I have with this film is the camera work, which has decided to use the shaky camera throughout the entire time. I can understand to make a movie more intense, filmmakers want to use this technique to pull us in by running with the actors, but all this does is give me a headache.  I kept having the problem of losing some of the actors that were apart of this group of soldiers.  They found a total of five survivors on their original mission, but I occasionally lost two to three of them.  They could have solved this problem if they just had a dolly system for the cameras for some of the scenes where the soldiers weren't fighting, but they use it all the time.  It irritated me and confused on who was where.

However, the action is  pretty solid, and the aliens were pretty cool (better than the ones from Skline), though due to the shaky camera, it was pretty hard to get a good look at them.  If I had a guess on what they were, they were kind of like the aliens from District 9 but more squid like than cricket like.  The pacing of the movie was pretty solid by giving us moments of action and moments to catch our breath, and we weren't overwhelmed with one or the other.  There are also moments where we get some comedy to break the tension, and we also get some dramatic performances, especially one scene involving SSgt. Nantz and another soldier.

This movie could have been retitled Skyline 2.0, and I would probably feel the same way as I do now.  This film is by definition a "Popcorn Movie" with over the top explosions and action to satisfy almost all action-movie junkies


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