Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan (Movie Review)

Battlestar fans have been waiting for this direct to DVD release in hopes of getting one more fix of the Battlestar they loved so well. Did it come through? Sure! Depending on what you were hoping for.

BSG is known for several storytelling elements: Action sci-fi battles, human emotional drama, philosophical/social commentary and unraveling mystery. The Plan has a fair dose of all of these, but certainly seems to exist for the latter. Not that it sets up the mystery. The series did that. Producers admitted that despite the claim that the Cylons "have a plan" at the beginning of every episode, they did not pay off that idea as well as they should have in the series. So "The Plan" exists mostly to remedy that.

The movie takes you through some major events of the series, weighing heavily on the first season, and inter-cuts old footage with new to give you a "behind the scenes" look at the Cylons during major BSG events. A few questions are answered that may have gnawed at hardcore fans (like who Caprica 6 was talking to after Baltar walked away from her outside waaaay back in the mini-series), but the revelations are by no means important for casual BSG viewers. While adding an additional layer to the series, The Plan falls short of the magnificent "Razor" DVD release.

Special effects were equal but no better than the series. A tiny shame for a DVD movie release, but still wonderful if viewed with a TV show in mind. The opening chapter presents another look at the attack on the Colonies, which is very well executed and gives a much stronger idea of the hopelessness humanity faced against the Cylons. They have never appeared more unstoppably destructive.

I didn't hold out hope that "The Plan" would answer the questions that SHOULD have been answered at the end of the series and weren't, but it would have been nice to have a more interesting philosophical theme than "love outlasts death", which ultimately comes across as an ethereal, insubstantial statement in its execution here.

What fans will enjoy is a MUCH deeper look at John Caval, the first model of human looking Cylons. Dean Stockwell does double duty carrying this movie, as the plot focuses on two model 1's and their different internal journey's regarding the Cylon agenda. Although Stockwell was not given exceptional material to work with, he is fascinating to watch.

In the end, this is a BSG story that has little focus on the cast you watched the show for, but has some enjoyable action/sci-fi/effects sequences and adds new layers for your second or maybe third time through the series on DVD. Although it does deal with some philosophical themes, they are not focused enough to come through and be worth discussion afterward unless you're especially looking for a topic over coffee.

Hardly the best BSG, but definitely something fans enjoy seeing and many will want to buy.

Unrated by MPAA.

Quality: 8.0/10

Relevance: 7.5/10

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