12th Mar2018

‘Skybound’ Review

by Nik Holman

Stars: Scarlett Byrne, Rick Cosnett, Gavin Stenhouse, Tyler Fayose, Carla Carolina Pimentel, Morten Suurballe | Written and Directed by Alex Tavakoli


Skybound is a 2017 survival/adventure film about a group of beautiful, wealthy, young adults aboard a private jet when a disastrously world-changing event occurs. Matt (Rick Cosnett) is trying to impress his new girlfriend, Lisa (Scarlett Byrne), by taking her on a weekend get-a-way leaving the East Coast for a short vacation on the West Coast because Matt’s parents are crazy rich and he has lacks any responsibilities. Matt and Lisa are greeted at the jet by Matt’s slightly shady brother, Kyle (Gavin Stenhouse, and two friends, Odin (Tyler Fayose) and Roxy (Carla Pimentel). Together, our gang boards the jet when their situation almost immediately goes sideways.

Skybound is a film that works within its limits. As an independent B-movie, writer and director Alex Tavakoli knows he’s only got a thin budget and what he does with that is admirable. Almost the entire 82 minute run time is spent in the plane’s cabin. If that sounds a little claustrophobic, good. When events of the film destroy all means of communication, the tight shots and limited space actually conveys the sense our characters really are flying blind. What few CGI shots we see are far between, never lingering too long. That’s a smart move.

However, as well as the uses of special effects are, they can’t compensate for good characters. Unfortunately, our characters are privileged idiots. From sports cars, to jets, to flying across freaking America just to attend the primer of a new Vin Diesel movie, these are the kind of empty individuals who probably only to listen to music that’s trending online. They obviously don’t read, because at one point Odin boldly claims that his name is derived from an African god. Who can be this stupid? Has this man never attended elementary school? Does Marvel Comics not exist in this world? Odin’s girlfriend is equally as vapid and it makes sense these two are together. They are good-natured fools. But we’re meant to believe that Matt is the more soulful member of the gang, and I have a hard time buying his depth when he purposefully surrounds himself these kinds of people. Shouldn’t he be as annoyed with them as I am?

The story thinks itself much smarter than it actually is. The idea is simple; a nuclear bomb hits and our cast is stranded in the sky. Yet, the story is bogged down with talk of a doomsday cult, the actual doomsday cult’s leader (Morten Suurballe) stowed aboard the plane (ain’t that a funny coincidence?), some kind of sub-plot involving the cult’s use of hallucinogenic drugs, or maybe not. There is so much talk of just stuff that’s happening somewhere and we learn nothing from any of it.

Surprisingly though, I kind of had fun watching Skybound. I had no idea where the story was headed. With a film like this, anything can happen. Bullet wounds to the stomach magically disappear. Jet engines can be hacked off with the use of a hand axe. The laws of science, and man, and God do not apply to the world of Skybound. That might drive a few of you mad. For those that are mad already, enjoy.

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