Thursday, May 7, 2009

Review: Battle For Terra

Grade: C

Battle for Terra is a 3-D animated movie about a humble planet in a far off galaxy, where the inhabitants are a peaceful people who coexist with the environment. One day a mysterious massive object shows up and starts to block out the sun. Some ships come down from the sky and start abducting people, many people think they are gods so they willingly glide in front of them to be taken. A girl, by the name of Mala, her father is taken and while trying to get abducted herself she gets in a flying machine and starts to search for him. A ship chases her down and she manages to get the ship to crash. She rescues the pilot, by the name of Jim Stanton, and brings him back to her place and, with the help of his robot Giddy, helps construct a bubble the pilot can live in. The pilot promises to help the girl get her dad back and they set off to get his ship back to go do that. In the process they find out that the people of Terra have a secret past. The general on the ship in the sky, known as the Arc, makes the decision to invade and kill all the people of Terra by force and by changing the environment to sustain human life, which would kill all the inhabitants of the planet. The titular battle ensues.

This movie was pretty good and entertaining and the 3-D animation looked really good and made the movie that much more interesting. The movie did play out like I was afraid it was going to. It was very heavy handed with the pro-environment and anti-war messages. They just really beat it into your heads. Right off the bat they show that these people live successfully with the environment and coexist extremely well. Then the humans show up and talk about how they killed Earth by mining all the recourses and so they terra-formed Mars and Venus. Then the people on those two planets went to war destroying both planets. So now the survivors from all 3 planets left the galaxy in pursuit of a livable planet. The General wants nothing more than to go to war and kill all the people on the new planet. I knew these messages were going to be there I was just hoping it wouldn’t be so beat into the movie.

The voice cast was great and expansive as it included the voices of Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Across the Universe), who voices the main character Mala. Luke Wilson (Vacancy, Idiocracy) did the voice of the sympathetic human pilot Jim Stanton. David Cross (Arrested Development, Kung Fu Panda) was highly entertaining doing the voice of Jim’s robot helper Giddy. James Garner (The Notebook, Space Cowboys) played the main elder Goron. Justin Long (Accepted, Waiting) did the voice of Mala’s best friend Senn. Denis Quaid (Undercover Blues, Vantage Point) did the voice of Mala’s father Roven. Also, Brian Cox (Bourne Identity, Troy) did the voice of the angry and evil General Hemmer. There were many others including Beverly D’Angelo, Chris Evans, Danny Glover, Mark Hamill, Amanda Peet, Ron Perlman, Danny Trejo. A very full voice cast.

This movie was good but like I said, very heavy handed with the left messages of War being wrong and evil and that we need to live and coexist with our environment. If you do want to see this movie I highly recommend seeing it in theaters with the Real-D technology, made this movie that much more enjoyable.

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