Let’s take a trip back in time, shall we? Let’s go back to the 1990’s, a time where the economy was doing well, we have relative peace, the movie industry was barreling forward with new technology, and we were introduced to Hollywood’s new “It” man, Casper Van Dien.
Van Dien first gained recognition for his role in the space action B-movie, Starship Troopers. A fun, silly sci-fi action flick that has such a massive cult following, they are still making these movies. Van Dien had arrived and soon he was in everything, including a great role in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
Sadly though, as quickly as he showed up; he disappeared. Relegated to the B-movie scene, Van Dien stayed busy in mostly sci-fi and action films. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed him in whatever movie he would be in. He clearly enjoys his job, and always put in 100% effort. If the quality wasn’t there, you know Van Dien would give you something to look forward to.
Enter, Beyond the Edge. This sci-fi film questions the notion of reality and alternate realities. The film also stars Sean Maher (of Firefily fame) as a scientist who is studying…. Honey bees. I think. When I say “I think”, I mean that because I really do not know what this movie is about or what happened. Maybe I missed a crucial plot point or line of dialogue, but I was confused for 119 minutes, and therein lies the problem.
Beyond the Edge, to put it bluntly, is too long and dull. Trying to capture the feeling of deep space and isolation like many other films before it, the movie offers up nothing interesting to keep you watching. The first 2/3 of the movie offers very little dialogue, stilted acting, some poor dialogue, and bland set design. It felt more like a Sci-Fi channel television show or movie than a feature film.
You might ask yourself why would I bother with this? Is there anything worthwhile other than the great Casper Van Dien? Well, I had to do a little research to better understand the film, and I can say, yes. Beyond the Edge offers up an interesting concept of alternate realities and our universe. It doesn’t really go into the science behind it, which might of helped explain it better, but it will open your mind up and think.
The problem is that the movie is so long, and since nothing really happens, you lose interest. There is nothing wrong with a slow burn film, I welcome and embrace those. We don’t get enough films like 2015’s Ex Machina. The difference is though, other films in this genre have attention grabbing dialogue, visuals, action, or something to keep your eyes focused on the screen. Unfortunately, two people sitting in a room in silence is not exciting.
Ultimately, Beyond the Edge has a good idea that never gets off the ground. Maybe someone can stay focused and make it through two hours of ambient noise and a grey color pallet.