Worst thing you’ll see all week: Beyond Skyline
Beyond Skyline is a fitting sequel to Skyline in that the only interesting thing that happens happens at the end. I don’t mean the last part of the movie. I mean the end of the movie. The very very end. The moment when it’s over. In the case of the first Skyline, there was a body-swapping twist that made no sense, but was at least an intriguing premise. But then the credits rolled. Something similar happens with Beyond Skyline. By the time it’s over, it would have you believe you just watched the origin story for a Terminator style resistance to the alien invasion. The John Connor character is someone I would like to see in action. She reminds me of what brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner did in Wyrmwood: Road of the Damned. Bianca Bradey goes from a damsel in distress to unique zombie warrior. Is that what’s going to happen to the magical superbaby in Beyond Skyline?
Who knows, because now the credits are rolling and there was never any of the Aussie ingenuity, sass, and glee that made Wyrmwood so good. Instead, there was a blue blur of unimpressive special effects, some awkward practical monster costumes, a misguided attempt to science the shit out of the alien invasion, and a painfully generic raucous rock track with the lyric “I’m a fuckin’ American!” or something that sounds like that. The first movie mainly took place in someone’s apartment on Wilshire Boulevard, because shooting out on Los Angeles locations is expensive. The sequel would have you think it’s going to splurge on downtown Los Angeles locations, but then it literally crashes onto an Indonesian fight movie, complete with the guy from the Raid movies. So it turns into that, with lots of fight scenes for no good reason. Beyond Skyline even decides to do a little kaiju in the ruins because the ruins are here, so why not? Frank Grillo is gamely on board as leading man. Betty Gabriel, the mesmerizingly mesmerized maid from Get Out, has a thankless role, once again literally losing her mind. A cool Australian actor named Callan Mulvey plays Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now. There are also some other people in the movie.
The best part of Beyond Skyline is the handful of outtakes that play over the credits. When one of the stuntmen in an alien suit can’t quite finesse what he’s supposed to be doing with his dumb alien claw gloves and an alien plasma bomb, Frank Grillo affectionately teases the poor guy. “You’re the stupidest fucking monster I’ve ever seen in my life,” he says, laughing. “I’m just saying, you’re gonna blow us all up.” Grillo turns to the camera, grinning, holding a fake baby in one arm because there’s a plastic alien battle doo-dad attached to his other arm. He’s having the time of his life and for the briefest of moments, I’m glad I’ve seen Beyond Skyline.