Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Beyond Skyline - Just Another Alien Invasion Movie

It had been exactly one week since my wife and I had fun watching Thor: Ragnarok. As there was no major movie playing in Indonesia theaters in the past few days, I was looking forward to another one of those Wednesday movie premiere day. Today this movie was the one I chose to see (the other one was an anime movie which I may or may not see later, depending on my mood). I was intrigued in seeing this movie since it had 2 Indonesian stars in it and some of the scenes were shot in Indonesia as well.  Anyway, let us get on with the movie.

Brief Story Line

In the city of Los Angeles, a detective named Mark (Frank Grillo - The Purge: Anarchy, Wolf Warriors 2 etc) was heading home in a subway with his son Trent (Jonny Weston - David in Project Almanac, Chasing Mavericks etc) when suddenly their train seemed to be having power failure. The train machinist Audrey (Bojana Novakovic - Edge of Darkness, Generation Um... etc) was trying to restart the train but to no success. With the sounds of explosion outside, Mark decided to lead the passengers out to the surface, only to find out that the city had been attacked by aliens and people were taken into their space ship.

With a small group of people including a blind war veteran called Sarge (Antonio Fargas - Starsky & Hutch TV series) and Mark's friend from LAPD named Garcia (Jacob Vargas) they had to escape from the chasing of the aliens who were very powerful and seemed to be too strong for the US military forces. Mark and the rest would realize later that there was a reason for these aliens to abduct the earth's people. During the survival attempt, they would somehow ended up being caught in the middle of the fight between aliens and the resistance led by Sua (Iko Uwais - The Raid, Headshot etc), his sister Kanya (Pamelyn Chee - The Offering etc) and their friend Harper (Callan Mulvey - Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice etc).

So why did the aliens attacked earth? Could Mark and everyone he tried to protect survived the aliens' onslaught? Find them all in this Alien Invasion movie.

End of Brief Story Line

This movie was a sequel to Skyline which I saw back in 2010 with the lead stars Eric Balfour (Haven TV series) and Scottie Thompson. Their characters were shown a bit in here but not played by the same actor/actress. From what I saw in here, this movie seemed to be playing in almost the same timeline with the prequel. Probably the writer & director Liam O'Donnel (in his directorial debut) was having the idea of making it a bit like Cloverfield and 10 Cloverfield Lane.

If you have seen the trailer to this movie (like I did as well), you would notice that the movie had an aura of a B class movie. Now I do not mind watching such movies as some of them tend to surprise by giving us a better than expected entertainment. But this one unfortunately was not able to provide that satisfaction. Some of the acting were a bit stiff and there were some minor plot holes here and there, plus I think the inclusion of Yayan Ruhiyan was a bit forced. 

I noticed from the internet that the movie was having a budget of around USD 20 million which would seemed to be double the budget of the original movie. I think most of the budget was spent on the special effects, but it was rather disappointing to see the quality of the picture which was too dark (like recorded in lower quality cameras), plus the sound effects that were not satisfying. However, my wife and I were quite satisfied with the cool special effects and with some of the intense moments during the fights with the aliens. Some of the fighting scenes were actually good with the use of Pencak Silat (Indonesian traditional martial arts) coreographed by Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhiyan. Though few I personally felt was a bit too much, especially the one involving Yayan in the end (Sorry Yayan, but that is just my opinion).

After seeing this movie, I could not help but feel that the movie might not be a commercial success (though I could be wrong) which would be a pity since the last Hollywood movie that used Indonesia as one of the main location was not too successful (remember Blackhat? That one was directed by Michael Mann with lead star none other than Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth). Btw, despite Prambanan temple located in Java was being used as the set, the movie itself did not mention that it was in Indonesia. My personal view is that this movie overall is not bad with decent special effects and good fight scene but I prefer the prequel which felt more intense and not having overly complicated storyline. 

So if you are looking for a rather B type alien invasion movie, and if you would like to see some Iko Uwais fight scenes, then you can certainly have a look at this one. But do not expect something like War of the Worlds, or Independence Day kind of movies. The choice is yours.

Mike's movie moments rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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