It’s Space May Days here at The Mustache and The Beard. In the past, we
concentrated on what we refer to as space operas: think Star Wars, Star Trek, and things of that nature, so when it came time to write one up I had little to write about. Star Wars and Star Trek have been written about and talked about from so many people on so many platforms that I didn’t want to add to the oversaturated pool.
For one I could never do Star Trek any justice as I am not a fan. Secondly Star Wars has way more fans that are far more versed in the movies, shows, novels, comics, etc. that I could not add anything new or insightful that hasn’t already been said. So, The Mustache left it to me to come up with something new and different. I was happy and surprised when I hit something that he hadn’t seen, let alone even heard of. The
Skyline movie trilogy.
I can already hear some of you saying, “What? Huh? What is that?” The trilogy is based on an original story by Joshua Cordes and Larry O’Donnell. It revolves around an alien invasion and the uprising of the human race to fight back and save mankind. In each installment the movies tend to hit on other genres and not just specifically sci-fi.
In the first film, simply titled Skyline (2010), Jarrod and his wife Elaine, played
respectively by Eric Balfour (Haven) and Scottie Thompson (NCIS) take a trip to southern California to visit their friend Terry, played by Donald Faison (Clueless, Scrubs).
While there, they notice strange hypnotic lights in the sky one night. Then the weekend turns to horror as aliens invade the city. What starts off as a city under attack quickly turns into a worldwide incident. Thousands of humans are abducted onto the ships and there’s an ensuing genocide of the human race.
The second film in the series is titled Beyond Skyline and came out in 2017. Despite the
7-year gap between the movies, the story arc follows Detective Corley (Frank Grillo, Avengers: End Game, Cop Shop) during the same timeline as the first movie. During the alien invasion Corley infiltrates one of the ships after his son Trent has been abducted.
While on board the ship Corley discovers that the aliens are abducting humans for their brain power. He stumbles upon Elaine, now played by Samantha Jean, and a bio-mechanical alien that houses Jarrod’s brain and consciousness. Elaine was 3 months pregnant, but her pregnancy has been accelerated with alien DNA. While on the ship Elaine gives birth to a daughter but dies during the delivery. This leaves Corley and Jarrod to keep the baby safe, all while trying to rescue Trent and stop the alien attack on earth.
Corley and Jarrod set explosives in the ship’s control room. While doing so Jarrod and Corley are discovered by an alien leader and a fight breaks out between Jarrod and the alien. Unfortunately, Jarod is killed in the fight while Corley makes his escape. He saves the baby but loses his son, as he becomes one of the alien-human hybrids.
Throughout Beyond Skyline the battle continues between the bio-mechanical aliens and the human resistance with multiple casualties on each side. It’s also discovered that the alien DNA used to accelerate Elaine’s pregnancy also accelerates the baby’s growth as she ages 3 years in just one day. With accelerated aging and alien DNA, the young girl helps the resistance fight back against the aliens in a final stand at the end of the movie. One of the survivors finally names the young alien/human hybrid Rose after Corely’s dead wife.
The final installment is titled Skylines (2020) and picks up shortly after Beyond Skylines ended. Rose is older because of the alien DNA. The aliens are now referred to as
“Harvesters” whereas the alien-human hybrids are referred to as ‘Pilots”. There is an alien space fleet orbiting the moon led by the mothership called “Armada.” Rose leads a human space fleet into orbit to take on the Armada. However, Rose destroys one of the human ships when it’s caught in the crossfire while she attacks the Armada. The Armada is destroyed but so is most of her fleet. Wracked with guilt she goes into hiding.
Fast forward 5 years and we find Rose living in a tent city near the ruins of London.
She’s now able to control her accelerated aging with the help of her friend Dr. Mal who uses hyper-oxygenated blood transfusions to keep the aging at bay. A viral pandemic breaks out infecting the “Pilots” that basically returns them to a brainwashed state so that the Harvesters can re-use them.
Rose is captured by revolutionists and set in front of General Radford who explains to her that the virus can be stopped if they can get the core drive from the Armada. The core drive was warped to the alien home planet dubbed Cobalt 1. Rose reluctantly takes on the mission to recover the core drive in an attempt to save mankind once again.
All in all, this is a fairly interesting saga. At first it can be hard to follow because the first film works better for me as a standalone feature whereas the 2nd and 3rd installments work best as back-to-back features. An alien invasion is nothing new in sci-fi, but I did enjoy the storyline. I think what I liked here is that in other Space Operas they generally take place in other galaxies, on other planets, with the exception of Star Trek IV. (Ooooooo look, whales.) Like I said, I’m not a fan.
Here Skylines takes you from earth to space, to the home planet and back. I like that because it gives you a sense of familiarity. Making you wonder how you would handle an alien invasion. There’s a lot more to the overall story that I would love to get into. Especially in the 2nd film which is probably the best of the series. But I have limited space as to which I can write so we have to wrap this up.
Overall, the movies didn’t do great with critics, and they hover around 50/100 with
Metacritic scores. But I like the originality of the story. Each movie is a little different but doesn’t change the overall tone of the big picture. The special effects are fairly decent, and the aliens do look menacing enough that I hope I never encounter one. The action scenes are well shot but dramatic scenes tend to fall flat. It’s no Star Wars or Star Trek by any means, but in a genre that is so saturated it stands out as an original piece. I give the trilogy a solid 3 out of 5 Grey Geeks.