Cloverfield (2008) revitalized the giant-monster genre with its mock-camcorder account of space aliens tearing up Manhattan, but the folks who produced this knockoff for Columbia Pictures have completely missed the point: they've recycled the earlier movie's cardboard plot but discarded its jerky stylistics in favor of the usual elephantine FX sequences. The premise is nearly identical: hip young people party in a high-rise penthouse overlooking downtown LA, and the next morning they awaken to discover alien spacecraft hovering above the city. As in District 9, the ships resemble floating garbage dumps, and the cool blue light they emit not only hypnotizes people but causes them to break out in clusters of varicose veins. Visual-effects wizards Greg and Colin Strause directed, showing more affinity for the city's steel and glass than for any of the characters.
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