What Is It All About?
For a brief moment in history, the world stood still. All eyes and minds focused on the skies and the colossal, unidentified object that was discovered on a collision course with Earth. Now, shrouded in mystery, the vast alien spacecraft looms ominously in sight above Northern Europe bringing with it an uncertain future. Amidst the chaos of the ensuing global catastrophe one young couple, searching for their infant daughter, their lost relationship and the hope of salvation embark on a perilous journey across a beautiful but treacherous landscape. They are driven on by hope, confronting their own demons while forced to survive in a world that stands on the brink of collapse. Survival is a choice…
The Hughes Verdict!
With Independance Day 2 in development and a surge of Alien invasion movies hitting the market, it does seem that the question “Are we alone?” is making a return to many of the genres at the box office. If the prospect of Roland Emmerich blowing more famous landmarks up, in that long overdue action sequel, does not entice your love for all things out of space, then you only have to take a look at the Supermarket shelves and see the likes of Skinwalker Ranch and the stunning Alien Abduction staring back at you, to realise that E.T. is now catering for all lovers out there.
Jumping on the new developing bandwagon is Beyond, a British Sci-Fi flick that owes a lot to Gareth Edwards much praised Monsters than say Ridley’s A L I E N, and its all the better for it!
Director’s Joseph Baker and Tom Large, show ambition and creative style to offer a different slant to what is basically an invasion movie, by not throwing death and buckets of blood at the screen, but instead offering a world of what would happen when two people fall in love at the brink of the end of civilisation.
The opening twenty minutes is a clear case of the originality the duo try to bring to their audience. We start with Cole (Richard J. Danum) in a local store, listening to a news report of a meteorite shining so bright it can be seen from Earth. In a dramatic shift of tone, the shop gets robbed, leading to a dangerous confrontation, to another shift, where Cole meets Maya (Gillian MacGregor) at a party where love blossoms. In a talkative exchange which echoes the style of Ben Wheatley, the film then changes shift once more to a future where the love is replaced to hate between them both….while all along, a U.F.O. floats silently but menacingly above.
The past, present timelines are the trait of Beyond, where the fundamental policy is to tell the viewers the journey of these two characters. We watch while the two have their first date, where the awkward moments are rife, to their first night together. It starts off very sweet, and you could be forgiven to think that you are watching some kind of love story but its not long before we see that their future deteriorates as the Human Race falls apart. The main catalyst is the fact that Maya gets pregnant,much to the disdain of Cory who believes its the wrong time to bring a human life into this world. A story arc that will probably bring some heated debate to some out there.
For those looking at the DVD cover and expecting some massive Sci-Fi bonanza, will be very disappointed. The UFO plays hardly no part in the film. Its there, in the background, but Beyond is all about relationships and the struggles that go with it. This could be happening to them, minus the end of the world, and to label this as a Science Fiction film is wrong, its a drama that sails along thanks to some stunning acting by all those involved.
But while the acting should carry most of the praise and also the direction because the film looks fabulous for a low budget, by the time you get to the climax, you do slowly realise that Baker and Large my just be trying to hard to be that clever. The finale smacks of ambition above its Straight To DVD market and for all its good work, the ending left me quite cold. The film beforehand, had enough going for it, for them not to go down that route, and while many may marvel at the Lynch surrealism, I felt it was all a bit unnecessary and I would have rather if it showed me what I invested into from the start with these two believable characters……… a natural conclusion.
Beyond is very talkative drama that will cater for many fans especially those who loved such films like Kill List. Its an emotional ride that sadly lacks the punch, but while I criticise the finale, I can only marvel at another British film that dares to be different and with Baker and Large, another directing duo we can add to our list of ones to look out for.