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Battle for Terra 3D Review
Review Score:

Galactic theatre of war, but without emotion

For me Valentines Day is nothing more than a hallmark holiday created by card and chocolate conglomerates to make the single more depressed, raise the one night stand and STD infection rates and generally try and make existing couples come together for the day and throw money at the cinema, as a means of a romantic afternoon with a film and some food. Does it work? Absolutely, however there is a small problem. The cinemas on the day of cupid are always desperately packed to the rafters with people watching shit chic-flicks for a bite of romance. Fortunately Battle for Terra saved our skins. I went and saw this flick in 3D with my partner. Is it romantic? No! Thank goodness for that. I must mention before we continue the review that the prices to see 3D movies have gone up in Vue cinemas, I’m not happy. It costed £20.00 in total to see this movie and no movie ever made is worth £20.00 to watch it once, not even District 9.

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When the peaceful inhabitants of the beautiful planet Terra come under attack from the last surviving members of humanity adrift in an aging spaceship, the stage is set for an all-out war between the two races for control of the planet. But will an unlikely friendship between a rebellious young Terrian (voiced by Evan Rachel Wood) and an injured human pilot (Luke Wilson) somehow convince their leaders that war is not the answer?

A CG-animated science fiction action adventure, Battle for Terra is directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas (The Freak, Terra) from a screenplay by Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Jungle Book 2) and Tsirbas. The film is voiced by an all-star cast including Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Down in the Valley), Luke Wilson (3:10 to Yuma, Blades of Glory), Brian Cox (Zodiac, The Bourne Supremacy), David Cross (Kung Fu Panda, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Justin Long (He’s Just Not That Into You, Zack and Miri Make a Porno), Amanda Peet (Syriana, A Lot Like Love), Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point, Far From Heaven), Chris Evans (Push, Sunshine), James Garner (The Notebook, Space Cowboys), Danny Glover (Shooter, The Royal Tenenbaums), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Alien: Resurrection) and Danny Trejo (Halloween, Grindhouse). The film is produced by Keith Calder (The Wackness, All the Boys Love Mandy Lane), Ryan Colucci, Dane Allan Smith (TankUp.US, Terra) and Jessica Wu, with original music by Abel Korzeniowski (Metropolis). The film’s editors are J. Kathleen Gibson and Jim May.

Living in perfect harmony in gravity-defying cities above the clouds, the inhabitants of the planet Terra are complete strangers to war. So when Terra is invaded by human beings fleeing a civil war and environmental catastrophe, many of the Terrians at first welcome the invaders as gods. Only the feisty young Mala (Evan Rachel Wood) fights back, luring one of the invading spacecrafts to destruction after her father is abducted, then rescuing its pilot—a human named Jim (Luke Wilson).

In return for saving his life, Jim promises to help Mala find her father, taking her on a perilous journey to the Ark—the humans’ aging mother ship. Along the way, Mala and Jim learn that their people really aren’t so different from one another. But with the Earthforce army poised to invade Terra and render it uninhabitable for Terrians, Mala and Jim must find a way to help the two races coexist—before it’s too late.

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I don’t do film synopsis’s too well, I hate to talk about the plotline and rather the press release do it as at last I talked about the finer details of a film’s story I completely ruined it for those that read the review. Battle for Terra is, generally an enjoyable film. It won’t win any Oscars for narrative nor will it win any prizes for cutting edge animation however in places it looks gorgeous in 3D and the organic based world is most certainly interesting to say the least. The Terrians world is certainly interesting with flying whales, bowl shaped community spaces and high rise earthy living spaces. As for the characters themselves this is where the lack of animated punch is evident, the Terrians lack any real detail to their species and the humans are very generic orientated with edged faces, big chins and general stereotyped military attire and physique.

However, despite its lack of visual polish compared to some of Dreamworks releases in 2009. The voice acting is just as good and doesn’t have a cast with distinguished voices that take your attention away from the movie. I also found that the film doesn’t try to appeal to adults either and because there isn’t any popular culture references it genuinely feels like this space epic is taking place so Tsirbas should be applauded for that. That is one of my gripes over the last 3 years, too many films try and make the film appeal to adverts by dropping in some textual references only adults will find funny. Why? I just don’t see the point! It detracts from the world you are setting these characters in.

All in all then Battle for Terra is an enjoyable film, but don’t expect it to set the world alight, the cinema we watched it had around 4 other people in, which we quite liked because it was quiet and you could pick your seat at leisure without the waft of cheese laden nachos towards your nose. The ending to this movie is perhaps a little disappointing, there isn’t any dialogue after the battle and whilst the outcome is positive, I would have liked to have seen the some delegation between the Terrians and the Humans themselves. Worth a rent when it comes out on DVD.

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