Review: 'Beyond Skyline' Is the Wacko Sci-Fi Martial Arts Movie You Need Right Now

I came for an alien invasion flick and a kung-fu movie broke out. Beyond Skyline is the, well, let's just call it unexpected sequel to 2010's sci-fi movie, Skyline, a surprisingly enjoyable mid-level hit that starred Eric Balfour. Eric Balfour! I can't remember the last time I saw Eric Balfour and he's the last person anyone would expect to lead a hit movie. The film was directed by the Strouse Brothers who poured every dime into some dazzling special effects that went along with a truly weird story about millennial in a high-rise as alien invaders begin zapping humans into the sky. The teasers were some of the year's most visually striking, I might add. It ended oddly, there was some legal mumbo-jumbo that came out of it, and for years there was nothing to indicate there would be another movie.

Beyond Skyline somehow boasts the extraordinary beat 'em up skills of Frank "I would've been the Punisher ten years ago" Grillo, plus Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian of The Raid 1 & 2, the best martial arts movies...well, ever. The last movie anyone would ever expect to find these three together in is Beyond Skyline, and yet their improbable presence is the least bizarre thing about it.

Beyond Skyline finds the Strouse boys as producers and the original movie's co-writer Liam O'Donnell making his directorial debut. And he's got some wild ideas on how to keep this franchise going, namely by giving us what isn't a traditional sequel at all, but a story running parallel to the original. A side-quel, if you will.  This is the nuttiest major sci-fi movie I've seen in ages, and it's absolutely worth every minute. This Alien meets The Raid meets trash cinema concoction stars tough guy Grillo as tough guy LA cop Mark Corley, on leave after his wife's death and wallowing in misery. We first meet him as he's bailing his rebellious son Trent (Jonny Weston) out of prison, just in time for the alien attack. Just as before people succumb to the invaders' "hypnosis' immediately upon eye contact, before being zapped into a hovering warship. Millions are gone in the span of minutes, but Mark and Trent manage to hook up with a handful of survivors, including subway conductor Audrey (Bojana Novakovic) and a blind man played by friggin' Huggy Bear himself, Antonio Fargas.

Through plot mechanics so illogical they defy description, this motley crew somehow ends up on one of the starships which then crash lands in the middle of Laos (!!!), strange because the blind guy happens to be a Vietnam vet, where they encounter an underground resistance that seems more interested in fighting them than the aliens. Of course, with this hokey script it's just to give us a brief throwdown between Grillo and Uwais, for which we should be grateful because it's kinda cool even if nonsensical.

But it's not as nonsensical as the rapidly-growing alien/human hybrid child Mark delivered on the ship and now has to protect.

Told you this thing was nutty.

That's really just the start of it, because the film morphs crazily into a sci-fi fight flick in which Grillo and Uwais stand toe-to-toe/fang/weaponized claw with brawling extraterrestrials who are just as skilled in the ways of screen combat. Stand mouth agape as Uwais pulls off some of the same elbow & knee combo strikes you've seen from him in other movies, minus Gareth Evans' killer choreography, while avoiding having his brain sucked out from his skull. If you remember the insane ending of the previous movie then you'll have an idea where this one is going, but even then it sets up a wider universe and future movies that you won't believe could actually happen. Beyond Skyline is beyond goofy, the dialogue is cornball, the acting suspect, but you won't have seen anything else remotely like it and that is reason enough to want to see more. Bring on Above & Beyond Skyline or whatever the next movie will be called! I'll be there for it.

Rating: 3 out of 5