Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
Should Christians be concerned about the environment? Answer
What is man’s responsibility to the environment? Answer
How might rain forest destruction affect our weather? Answer
What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer
What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer
Are we alone in the universe? Answer
Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer
|Featuring||Chad Allen (Terrian Scientist—voice), Rosanna Arquette (Professor Lina—voice), Bill Birch (Terrian 2—voice), Brooke Bloom (Technician Quinn—voice), Tom Connolly (Technician Williams—voice), Brian Cox (General Hemmer—voice), David Cross (Giddy—voice), Beverly D'Angelo (Interrogator Wright—voice), Jim Devoti (Colonel Wheeler—voice), Chris Evans (Stewart Stanton—voice), James Garner (Doron—voice), Danny Glover (President Chen—voice), Mark Hamill (Elder Orin—voice), Alec Holden (Tulo—voice), Masam Holden (Tumi—voice), Vanessa Johansson (Sora—voice), Brian Johnson (Lt. Johnson—voice), David Krumholtz (Terrian Commander—voice), Phil LaMarr (Fabric Merchant—voice), Justin Long (Senn—voice), Worm Miller (Tuki—voice), Laraine Newman (Toy Merchant—voice), Amanda Peet (Maria Montez—voice), Ron Perlman (Elder Vorin—voice), Timi Prulhiere (Terrian 1—voice), Dennis Quaid (Roven—voice), Michael Scovotti (Lieutenant Evans—voice), Zoe Sidel (Kima), Danny Trejo (Elder Barum—voice), Luke Wilson (Jim Stanton—voice), Evan Rachel Wood (Mala—voice)|
|Producer||MeniThings LLC, Snoot Entertainment, Keith Calder, Ryan Colucci, Dane Allan Smith, Jessica Wu|
|Distributor||Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions|
“They are coming.”
“Battle for Terra,” a CG animated sci-fi action adventure is rated PG for family viewing with the primary target being kids and teenagers. However, this should not be considered a “kids film,” as the subject matter involving the ‘end of humanity’ and genocide is not younger kids fare.
After Earth is destroyed, its last survivors roam space in a starship named the Ark searching for a new home to colonize. What awaits them at their journey’s end is Terra: a cloud-shrouded planet filled with wondrous life forms that share the world in almost perfect harmony. It is against this peaceful and beautiful backdrop that we witness the arrival of man and his fighters descending, as if from the heavens, in order to invade and capture the Terrian’s as a prelude to war.
The initial “invasion” appears all the more brutal when juxtaposed against the peaceful ways of the Terrians. It is here that a teen-aged Terrian, Mala (Evan Rachel Wood), sees her father Roven (Dennis Quaid) abducted. She heroically evades one of the Earth fighters and lures him into one of the natural perils of the world. The Earth ship is disabled, and Mala befriends the Earthman soldier Jim Stanton (Luke Wilson). Aided by his companion robot Giddy (David Cross), the trio embark on a journey to first save her father and later attempt to find a way of stopping a war that can only leave one race alive.
Standing in the way of the peace they seek is General Hemmer (Brian Cox) who goes against the ruling civilian council and conceives a plan to adapt the planet’s atmosphere for humans while simultaneously eliminating the peaceful Terrians in seven (7) days. “Very Biblical,” says the General in a tone many will interpret as mocking. A Bible lesson clearly the General has never learned is that “Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18).
Amidst hostilities, the natives still move forward with their “Ceremony of Life,” a festival that gathers all Terrians in an aerial ballet that celebrates the fact that, as Mala says, “…a long time ago we were apart from nature. We almost died. But now we’re together, forever in life.” Alluding to misguided philosophies espousing the “oneness” within nature, it is just another example that the “ideal” is what the Terrians represent and what the humans have yet to attain.
Parents should be aware of the more mature elements of the film, including a generous amount of violence. A majority of the deaths take place within explosions in battles, but deaths have undeniably taken place. Additionally, emotions reach a fever pitch during battle, with both the invading soldiers and the Terrians, peace loving Terrian Mala included. These characterizations may disturb younger children not prepared for the seeming realities of war.
Likewise, the cruelty of the humans was even further on display in a scene reminiscent of the TV series “X-Files,” when it is revealed that some of the captured Terrians have been experimented on.
There is an immodest and unnecessary scene involving a returning warrior getting an examination by the starships medical equipment. While it is apparent that he has no clothes during the exam, it is from a side view that reveals nothing vital. While brief in nature, this can be especially uncomfortable for younger viewers and may offend others.
Overall, the movie was both captivating and visually stunning. The audience finds itself in the unenviable position of rooting for the invaders, if only slightly, while hoping for an unheard of third solution to this dilemma. The landscapes, better called ‘skyscapes,’ for the majority of the scenes, as well as the Terrian cities that all jut above the clouds, were a testament to the filmmakers’ design and were striking throughout.
Targeting an entire race for extermination is a great wrong and one of the intended messages of this movie parallels the scriptural advice to “Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalms 34:14).
Not appropriate for younger viewers, due to the intensity of the battle sequences and the overall subject matter, I would, however, recommend this movie for the storytelling, visuals, action and the audience-satisfying resolution it delivered.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.