Skybound is a 2017 thriller about five plane passengers who are unable to land after a mysterious disaster happened on the ground.
Watching Alex Tavakoli‘s Skybound is a little like listening to a kid with an active imagination try to describe a grownup movie they saw through a peephole with the sound off. Things barely makes sense, no one seems to know how to speak with any semblance of logic, and everything just sort of feels cobbled together with all the fluidity of assembling a jigsaw puzzle with rolls of Scotch tape. It’s so oddly left of center one might actually begin to suspect it’s all on purpose, as if it were a prank by the director who set out to make a wildly cheesy movie but told his cast to take it as seriously as possible. And yet, it’s so thoroughly ‘bad’ it actually manages to entertain in the weirdest way, almost daring you to see how much more bizarre it will get.
So we start with a young couple, Matt (Rick Cosnett) and Lisa (Scarlett Byrne), driving about in his ridiculously expensive Benz, heading out on a three-day trip, their first. He drives her to a private airport where they hook up with Odin (Tyler Fayose) and his girlfriend Roxy (Carla Carolina Pimentel), who are coming along, taking a cross country trip in Matt’s family jet. Unexpectedly. Matt’s brother Kyle (Gavin Stenhouse) stops by to hand off the plane, but circumstances require him to be the co-pilot. Turns out he and Lisa have history and it causes some tension, though that ends up being the least of their worries as a mysterious stowaway is found hiding on board, and with him comes more troubling news. Weird atmospheric disturbances are keeping all airplanes in the air, and without flight assistance, some are colliding. But even worse, something horrific has happened on the ground, and for these unlucky people, they are Skybound.
It’s almost unfair to point out everything that makes Skybound so absurd, the film obviously low budget and made to be over-the-top. However, the lengths it goes to in being as such are hard to overlook, with the whole thing existing in this sort of distorted reality where nothing feels authentic. Characters speak in the simplest terms and emote with all the conviction of a middle school talent show, which would be fine if the movie allowed some room for humor, or at least a bit of black comedy. Even the master of the genre, Joel Schumacher, seems to know the only way to commit to this is to jam your tongue firmly in cheek. Not so with Skybound, a film that earns plenty of laughs though none are intended. At least I think so. It’s admittedly hard to tell. When a grown man named Odin honestly believes he’s named after an African god and never checked before, well, you get the level we’re working at here.
Here’s the thing though. No matter how ridiculous it gets, and it does, with subplots that go nowhere and misdirection that has no one fooled, Skybound remains kinda fun to watch, simply because you can’t accept that it’s really happening and you have to see where it will end. And yes, many movies are made to be so, yet Skybound never really – and you’ll forgive the wording – takes off, avoiding the outrageousness of the shark versus something movies or the scale and visual appeal of the natural disaster flick. Fans of B grade thrillers may find something to cheer for, but most will surely want to deboard early.
Movie description: Skybound is a 2017 thriller about five plane passengers who are unable to land after a mysterious disaster happened on the ground.
Director(s): Alex Tavakoli
Actor(s): Scarlett Byrne, Gavin Stenhouse, Rick Cosnett