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Heads in the Clouds

Beyond Skyline follows soon after the events of Skyline. A man (Frank Grillo), his son, and a few survivors navigate a chaotic world during an alien invasion. While they traverse everything from alien ships to foreign jungles, they try to find a way to not only survive the onslaught, but fight back.

Beyond Skyline Review

The half-Predator/half-Power Rangers take on a Skyline universe that arguably didn't deserve to become one is ridiculous from conception to execution. Beyond inexplicably fun effects work and some noticeably enjoyable casting in Grillo (Warrior, The Purge sequels) and Bojana Novakovic (Devil, The Hallow), there are no redeemable qualities. But, are those few qualities enough to make Beyond Skyline bearable at the very least?

The short answer is yes, but undeniably despite itself. The first film was a widely panned movie that was unappreciated by genre fans, casual patrons and critics alike. When word of a sequel in the works was in the grapevine, most everyone was stunned. Why bother trying to create a franchise from something that was dying right out of the womb? What direction could possibly save it? There were so many questions that we were hoping the sequel would answer. And, in a way, it did.

The sequel picks up right where the first film left off with just a tad of timeline overlap to introduce our new characters. Like some kind of cruel joke, the first half-hour requires you to have retained some knowledge of the first film's characters and plot. My limited memory of the first film was vaguely present enough for me to piece together the missing links and be able to move forward with the progression of the plot, but this annoyance of dependency on a film most would like to forget is nothing short of laughably frustrating.

Yet we move on eventually and dive into the plot that follows Grillo, Novakovic and their apocalypse-induced adopted child as they try to survive the alien invasion and find a way to fight back. Of course, the innate principle in any alien invasion movie is that the aliens have one major exploitable flaw despite out-classing the human race in every conceivable arena. This movie follows that trend by not only providing the major weakness, but making it built into the aliens' primary mode of attack. The premise is embarrassingly contrived and made me scoff out loud.

Like a prequel film to a video game franchise, this movie earns no benefit-of-doubt from its audience for why it got green-lit in the first place. While significantly more fun than the first film, it abandons the familiar plot concept of a small band of survivors trying to evade the aliens to chase a grandiose scifi action flick within the first 20 minutes. It's almost as noticeably disconnected conceptually as the infamous Troll to Troll 2. Okay...it's not that bad. But Skyline/Beyond Skyline feel like two entirely separate plot concepts melded by a single storyline. Whereas I would hypocritically praise the conceptual evolution of Alien to Aliens, it is a mess of Michael Bay-esque chaos at a fraction of the budget that derails Skyline's own attempt at progression. The natural selection of the cinema world needs to run its course on this film "franchise".

Horror Rating System

Horror Qualifier: 6/10

Horror Quality: 3/10

Film Quality: 4/10

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