Review: ‘Beyond’

A pacey underwater adventure movie for early teens, "Beyond" is an OK ride for parents, too, though the latter may quibble at some of the plot's loose ends in the final act. Sweden's Ake Sandgren, best known for his 1993 "The Slingshot," directs with brisk efficiency this Danish-lingo story of dark secrets hidden in a WWII U-boat.

A pacey underwater adventure movie for early teens, “Beyond” is an OK ride for parents, too, though the latter may quibble at some of the plot’s loose ends in the final act. Sweden’s Ake Sandgren, best known for his 1993 “The Slingshot,” directs with brisk efficiency this Danish-lingo story of dark secrets hidden in a WWII U-boat.

While scuba diving off a rickety old boat owned by their grandfather (Otto Brandenburg), teenage brothers Christian (Robert Hansen) and Ask (Ralf J. Hollander) happen on the legendary German submarine U-461, which sank off the Danish coast with all hands aboard at the end of the war. Inside, Ask sees the face of a living baby boy preserved in a medical container and becomes haunted by its spirit; meanwhile, a group of salvage contractors, led by a former Nazi (Baard Owe) who knows the secret of U-461, are racing to get their hands on the sub’s contents. Overall, pic is stronger in exposition than development, which gets its nets a little tangled in a sideplot involving a middle-aged spiritualist (Jytte Abildstrom), but the action is well staged and the young leads are fresh.

Beyond

Denmark-Sweden

Production

A Thura Film, Bech Film, Danish Film Institute, TV2 (Denmark)/Nordic Screen Production, Svenska Filmkompaniet, SVT Drama (Sweden) production. (International sales: Nordisk Film, Copenhagen.) Produced by Peter Bech, Michael Obel. Directed by Ake Sandgren. Screenplay, Bent E. Rasmussen, Anders Thomas Jensen.

Crew

Camera (color), Dan Laustsen; editor, Kasper Leick; music, Randall Meyers; production designer, Niels Sejer; costumes, Maria Gyllenhoff. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival (Director's Focus), Aug. 18, 2000. Original Danish title: Dykkerne. Danish dialogue. Running time: 91 MIN.

With

Robert Hansen, Ralf J. Hollander, Otto Brandenburg, Baard Owe, Jesper Asholt, Laura Aagaard, Jytte Abildstrom, Ove Christian Ove, Bjorn Floberg, Ditte Grabol.

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