Movies: 'Battle for Terra' not worth the fight

  • Article by: ROGER MOORE , Orlando Sentinel
  • Updated: April 30, 2009 - 6:26 PM
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"Battle for Terra"

This 3D oddity (★ 1/2 out of four stars, rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and some thematic elements) is a war movie grafted onto an anti-war message. Naive but ambitious, it comes across as a "Battlestar Galactica" vetted by pacifists, "Clone Wars" neutered for Saturday morning kids' TV.

After Earth has been destroyed, humans scout a planet that might be suitable for "terra-forming." But once they do that, the ancient, peaceful civilization of flying mermaids who live there will die. The grown-up themes in the film suggest Japanese anime, with death, sacrifice and suicide touched on. On the other side, there's little that's subtle here. For "gentle" people, the blandly written and blandly animated Terrans have soldiers and weapons aplenty. The third act is one epic dogfight. The 3D adds little to this animation -- visually, "Terra" is only as good as its "Star Wars" tribute battle. But in making animation that isn't dark enough for older fans and is too message-centric for kids, Team "Terra" has created a film that will probably satisfy no one.

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