August 1, 2012

THE SKY HAS FALLEN (Movie Review)

REVIEW

The Sky Has Fallen (2009)

Director and Writer: Doug Roos

RATING:
2 / 5 zedheads

 

I'm not going to bury the lead here. The Sky Has Fallen failed to engage me on virtually every level.

Choppy, confusingly edited, and clunky from script to  performance, The Sky Has Fallen had me checking the running time on my Blu-ray player like a kid in detention trying to run out the clock.

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
In The Sky Has Fallen, a mysterious virus that turns people into zombies has swept through the country. Survivors have escaped to remote locations, but even there they face a threat worse than the undead. Mysterious black figures have appeared, taking away the dead to experiment on them and transform them into weaponized slaves. Who are these shadowy beings? What do they want? What is their connection to the zombie virus? Are they susceptible to damage or just like to fall down whenever they get shot? Well, The Sky Has Fallen isn't too interested in answering these questions.

Paging Dr. Freudstein. Paging Dr. Freudstein.
Instead, we follow Lance (Carey MacLaren), a stereotypical badass with a sword but a wounded heart, as he wanders the woods with Rachel (Laurel Kemper) whom he saved from death at the hands of the black figures. Lance has some ambiguous connection to the black figures, but no competent explanation is ever reached. Although the film is also described as an apocalyptic love story, Lance and Rachel have no chemistry together. Not for one minute of this movie's 72 minute running time did I ever see a genuine or credible sliver of love between these two characters. In an attempt to drop an emotion bomb on the audience, there's an incredibly hackneyed twist at the end that I won't spoil in the off chance you choose to watch The Sky Has Fallen "sans-spoilers," but instead of evoking a sense of romantic tragedy it made me feel manipulated and betrayed.

My gun is ready for its closeup, Mr. DeMille.
Essentially, The Sky Has Fallen falls on its own indie sword. Obviously beset by technical woes, the majority of the movie is shot in tight closeups on one or two characters. The result is disorienting and difficult to watch, especially in the fight scenes where the editing displays clear symptoms of attention deficit disorder. At the same time, the shallow script and wholly compelling characters overshadow some honestly impressive special makeup effects and forest cinematography. As it turns out, however, the lead actors' faces fill up the frame so often that it's impossible to compliment anything going on in the background.

Get used to these faces. They're going to be in yours...a lot.
 Big respect to Doug Roos for raising the funds to make his film. I only hope his experience working on The Sky Has Fallen has made him a more proficient and technically adept filmmaker for future projects. The resulting film, however, is not one I can recommend in any good faith.