Any storyteller, no matter the medium, has to strike a balance between action and exposition in order to maintain the interest of the audience. Too much action (plot), and you risk preventing the audience from developing empathy for your characters. Too much exposition (story), and you risk having your characters make unbelievable logical leaps in order to advance the plot. Director Conrad Faraj‘s Fighting the Sky (2018) is short on the former and heavy on the latter.
Lorraine Gardner (Angela Cole) is a ufologist who is researching strange sounds that have been emanating from the sky. She rejoins a team of investigators she once led in order to track down the source of the sounds. From there, strange events begin to unfold, all of which leads to an ultimate confrontation with time, space, and conqueror aliens.
Unfortunately for this film, the exposition is so complex that it overshadows the plot. There are long scientific explanations from Lorraine and company that are used in an attempt to justify whatever conclusion she leaps to next. These explanations are too burdensome to lend credibility to those leaps. The consequence of this type of storytelling is that the plot becomes difficult to follow. There is little about the film that is memorable other than a few appearances of a menacing alien creature. The stakes do not seem high enough to warrant the reactions of the characters. The filmmakers attempt to create a sense of urgency in some scenes by having characters talk over each other and shout panicked instructions at the scene’s decision maker, but these attempts come off as contrived.
Technically, the production is not bad for an independent film. The special effects are passable and the cinematography is of professional quality. However, the choice of music does not seem to fit the story. In the end, the story is simply too confusing to follow. The final scene appears to setup some sort of time travel sequel, although it’s difficult to ascertain for certain. Had the filmmakers focused a bit more on plot and less on trying to justify character actions and conclusions through exposition, Fighting the Sky would have been a more interesting movie.