Battle in Space: The Armada Attacks starts with a voiceover that would make Mystery Science Theater 3000 proud. It is the 25th century and humanity has spread throughout the galaxy. What was once a time of prosperity has turned dark. Humans have become enslaved by aliens and space wizards. A resistance plans a counterattack to save those who have been captured. Does the unfortunately worded introduction set the pace for the entire film or is it just a misstep?
Surprisingly, the movie is an anthology. While there are plenty of science fiction anthologies, few of them are set in space. The opening also teases one narrative instead of a series of loosely connected shorts. This becomes the biggest issue with Battle in Space. The movie has some very interesting ideas. For example, in the first story, missing children have become so commonplace the police do not even investigate the cases anymore. Much like the rescue mission discussed early on, the idea is never revisited. This gives the entire movie a lack of cohesiveness.
Much like any anthology, the segments are hit and miss. They all are fun for the most part (including a nice Star Wars reference in the second story), but none do a good job of tying into the main story. There is a heist story and some particularly good ones that deal with reality. There is also an odd reliance on people getting shot in the back. All would be fine in a vacuum, but none work as good as they should in Battle in Space.
Special effects are always a big part of sci-fi movies. That is especially true here since there is not a strong story to follow. The creature design in Battle in Space is great. The aliens in the first story are highlights of Battle in Space. The space battles are not as great, however. On the plus side, they are not a big part of the movie after the beginning.
Battle in Space: The Armada Attacks has a number of good ideas. The movie is a good mix of science fiction, action, and comedy. Regrettably, none of them are given enough time to develop. Meanwhile, the story told during the introduction is never really developed. This movie is better watched as a series of short films instead of one movie.
Battle in Space comes to DVD and digital January 12
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