Latest posts by Chris Findlay (see all)
- The Hollywood Theatre Needs Help Saving the Iconic Movie Madness - 12th October 2017
- Beyond Skyline: The Next Good Sequel to a Bad Movie? - 11th October 2017
- Saturday Morning Cartoons: 11 Fun Facts About He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - 5th August 2017
The first Skyline was released seven years ago, and suffice to say, the world hasn’t exactly been demanding a sequel to the alien invasion thriller. The film was panned by critics upon release, and has faded out of memory without as much as a flicker. That said, the movie did some good business at the box office, making just over $78M on the back of a $20M budget, so in a world where money talks, a sequel sort of makes sense.
Beyond Skyline is essentially an R-rated Independence Day rip-off, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Basically, some aliens appear in Los Angeles and make the mistake of kidnapping the son of hard-boiled detective Mark Corley, played by the almighty Frank Grillo.
Frank Grillo vs. aliens? Tell me that’s not a mouthwatering prospect. Check out the trailer below and then we can gush together:
As you can see, this looks like a vehicle for Grillo to do what he does best – kick ass. Since making a name for himself with The Purge: Anarchy, the actor has been solidifying himself as a modern genre film icon. And much like The Purge series, Grillo’s inclusion in Beyond Skyline could mark the salvation of a franchise the world was ready to write off following an underwhelming first outing.
Another reason to be excited about this movie is the inclusion of Iko Uwais, the Indonesian star who stole our hearts with The Raid movies and the ultra-violent treat Headshot. As good as Frank Grillo is, Uwais is arguably the greatest action star of his generation. But this is a match made in Heaven and the fact the Skyline series has this pairing makes it deserving of a second chance. By enlisting two of the most bad ass motherfuckers on the planet, first-time director Liam O’Donnell (who co-wrote the first movie), much like the aliens in his upcoming movie, seems hell-bent on taking over the world.
Assuming that Beyond Skyline is going to be as good as it looks, it won’t be the only good sequel to a bad movie, either. Let’s look back at some other franchises that needed a second chance before they hit the sweet spot.
The Expendables 2 (2012)
The Expendables really should have turned out better than it is. While none of us were expecting a group of ageing action stars to deliver anything close to their best work, it was disappointing that a movie featuring cinema’s greatest macho men turned out so mediocre at best. The series as a whole is a disappointment when you look at it overall, but stuck in the middle is an entertaining gem that brings the chaos and fun the first and third installments lack. If Beyond Skyline can deliver some no-holds-barred fun like The Expendables 2 did, it’ll be worth 90 minutes of our time.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
As much as it pains me to say it, 1979s Star Trek: The Motion Picture wasn’t the epic first big screen outing Captain Kirk and his crew deserved. It’s a slog to sit through at times, and the worst thing a film can be is boring. The Wrath of Khan, on the other hand, is a masterpiece and still the best Star Trek movie to this day. Not only did it renew interest in the film franchise, but it continues to inspire it; JJ Abrams considers it one of his favorites, and he borrowed from it significantly for his own second entry in the Star Trek canon, Into Darkness. Maybe someday, the director of future Skyline movies will turn to the upcoming sequel for inspiration…
Ouija II: Origin of Evil (2016)
The first Ouija is a terrible movie. It’s guilty of every criticism that can be bestowed upon dull, generic modern horror. But it did make an absolute killing at the box office, and horror films have a tendency to birth franchises if they’re cheap to make and immensely profitable. Fortunately, the criticism was acknowledged, and more care was put into the next installment, a prequel. Director Mike Flanagan was brought in to direct and he delivered an impressive chiller with an old school feel, reminiscent of movies like The Changeling. If the Ouija series can get it right, then so can Beyond Skyline.