Starring Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Callan Mulvey
Directed by Liam O’Donnell
Beyond Skyline is a $20 million budget film disguised as a $200 million summer blockbuster. If I had no knowledge of the film upon my first viewing and was asked to estimate the budget, I would say somewhere within the $150-$200 million range. And unlike most of its more expensive counterparts, Beyond Skyline’s smaller release means that it does not have to carry the burden of a PG-13 rating, and more blood is always a good thing.
But of course, all those effects would count for nothing if the story didn’t hold up. And there isn’t really much of a story here to be honest. No knowledge of the previous Skyline film is necessary, because it apparently takes place at the exact same time, so don’t worry if you’re a newcomer. Frank Grillo plays an LAPD cop trying to rescue his son, who has been abducted by aliens, and Iko Uwais plays a guy who knows martial arts. Uwais’ character has about 0.1 percent more personality than the character he played in The Raid: Redemption, which is to say, almost none.
By far the most interesting character in Beyond Skyline was an alien defector who joins forces with the humans and fights against his own kind. I’d have preferred it if he could speak English instead of communicating via hand gestures, in order for us to learn a little more about his personality and motivations, but no such luck. I also found it more than a little strange that a technologically advanced alien race were able to master space travel, and yet they wore armor which could be easily pierced by a simple knife.
Characters and logic aside, this is still one hell of a fun popcorn flick with the scale and spectacle to rival the latest Star Wars and MCU movies, despite being made for a fraction of the cost. It’s a damn shame that after its festival run, Beyond Skyline will debut on DVD and VOD instead of receiving a wide theatrical release, because this is a film which absolute demands to be seen on the largest screen possible.
The best way that I can think to describe Beyond Skyline is basically Pacific Rim with more gore. If that sentence doesn’t have you hooked, you probably don’t have a soul.