The Jakarta Post
"Beyond Skyline" tells the story of aliens invading earth. (facebook.com/beyondskylinefilm/File)
It was supposed to be an ordinary evening for detective Mark (Frank Grillo), whose wife had recently passed away. His son, Trent (Johnny Weston), gets into a fight, and Mark comes to the police department to bail him out of jail. Both then head home on the train, when, in the middle of a father-and-son moment, their train suddenly stops moving.
After exiting the train, they realize that an extraterrestrial force has begun to invade Los Angeles. Flying above the city’s skyscrapers with its large spaceships, the aliens hypnotize humans using a blue light. The blue light lures people into the spaceships, where their brains are scooped out. Trent is soon captured, and his father has to find a way to save him. The only way to do this is to get inside the aliens' spaceship and travel to a different country that is also being terrorized by the aliens.
Iko Uwais plays Sua in "Beyond Skyline." (facebook.com/beyondskylinefilm/File)
Beyond Skyline is the sequel to the 2010 science-fiction film Skyline. Liam O’Donnell, who was the cowriter of the first installment, makes his directorial debut and also serves as the writer of Beyond Skyline.
O’Donnell said the film combines three elements. “We wanted a Los Angeles disaster movie, we wanted it like an alien movie in a spaceship and we also wanted to have a kind of Predator meets Apocalypse Now in Southeast Asia,” O’Donnell explained during a press conference in Jakarta. “[The film] continually evolves and throws more action that you can’t really guess where the story is going to go.”
Indonesian actors from the The Raid ( 2011 ), Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian, joined the cast of Beyond Skyline. Both played Laotians, in accordance with the script — Iko plays Sua, the leader of an underground human resistance, while Yayan plays The Chief.
“[…] As Iko and Yayan were part of the process, we actually expanded their roles in the film from small costar, like a supporting role, and they ended up being [main] costars,” said the film’s producer Matthew Chausse. “So Iko is one of the main heroes in the second-half of the film.”
Producer Matthew Chausse (left), actor Yayan Ruhian (center) and director Liam O'Donnell during a press conference for "Beyond Skyline" on Oct. 27 in Jakarta. (JP/Bayu Widhiatmoko)
The film was shot in Toronto in Canada, and Batam and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, including at Prambanan temple. “For all the controversies on shooting at the temple, we were very respectful, there’s no actual damage being done to the place,” O’Donnell said. “We felt very honored to be able to shoot there.”
Beyond Skyline is packed with bloody action scenes and convincing visual effects thanks to VFX company Hydraulx. The movie is fast-paced, yet presented in a way that does not leave audiences confused. Both Iko and Yayan have given their best performances, especially Iko who speaks English with a Laotian accent for most of the film.
Those who have not watched the first movie can still enjoy the sequel, as O’Donnell fills in the blanks through flashbacks and provides answers to what happened to Jarrod and Elaine, the two main characters from the first installment.
The Chief (Yayan Ruhian, left), Mark (Frank Grillo, second left), Audrey (Bojana Novakovic, second right) and Sua (Iko Uwais) fight against the aliens. (facebook.com/beyondskylinefilm/File)
Beyond Skyline is slated to premier at theaters across Indonesia on Oct. 31. (asw)