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European films

Film review: Beyond Skyline – alien invasion sequel, featuring monster fights and an Indonesian action star, is ridiculous but fun

Liam O’Donnell’s follow-up to the critically derided but money-spinning 2010 film Skyline is action-packed and entertaining, even if it is not the most intelligent sci-fi film you’ll see

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 January, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 01 January, 2018, 7:03pm

3/5 stars

An old-school science-fiction B-movie complete with men in monster suits, Beyond Skyline will delight fans of genre films while leaving others bewildered.

Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Liam O’Donnell, this sequel to the critically derided but commercially successful Skyline (2010) has it all: cops, aliens, space battles, martial arts sequences, monster fights, jungle adventures, ancient Hindu monuments, a Vietnam veteran – and even a birth scene. The movie is corny but entertaining, with lashings of moderately decent special effects.

The sequel picks up where Skyline finished. LAPD detective Mark (Frank Grillo, Wolf Warrior 2 ) heads down into the subway and watches the population of LA beamed up into a spaceship by an alien light ray when he resurfaces. Although the plot is never entirely clear, it seems the aliens are using human brains to power their Transformers-like robots.

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Marc and his fellow subway passengers are abducted by the aliens, but with the help of a human-turned-monster, Marc forces the spaceship to crash land in Laos, where he joins up with some Laotian outlaws and a scientific genius holed up in an ancient Hindu complex. A human child born on the spaceship, who grows three times as fast as normal humans, holds the key to victory over the invaders.

The Laos scenes were filmed in Indonesia, and feature Indonesian action star Iko Uwais, who made his name in the hit action series The Raid . Shots of the massive Prambanan temple complex in Central Java feature heavily in the second part of the film.

Beyond Skyline may not be the most intelligent of sci-fi movies, but one has to admire the filmmakers for cramming so much in.

Beyond Skyline opens on January 4

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