I didn’t get a chance to tackle this one when it first came out in theaters, so when I got the chance to finally catch Battle For Terra on DVD, I took it. Was it worth it? Well, you’ll find out directly.
Here, once again, humans are the bad guys as they go out not to look for shiny black rock that’s worth a mint per grain, but rather, for a new place to live. They think they’ve found it in Terra, an Earth-like planet with one significant problem–a wonky atmosphere. Sound familiar? It should. The difference here, of course, is that this time, the Earthlings are planning to bring along their OWN atmosphere via a terraforming device (which is only slightly ironic–an Earthling terraformer device to be used on Terra to make it Earth-like. This will, naturally, render Terra uninhabitable to the Terrans.
You may have noticed from the title that I’m taking the rather cheeky move of calling this Avatar before there actually WAS Avatar, and though it’s sure to get me flamed into insensate oblivion by numerous Avatar fans, I have to say it. Remember, this sucker came out WELL ahead of Avatar’s release, even if Avatar was likely longer in the making. First mover advantage, or in this case, first movie advantage, is everything.
And yes, Battle For Terra will prove to be every bit as breathlessly sanctimonious as Avatar would be, but with one key difference. You’ll have to actually watch to see what it is, but suffice it to say that it’s pretty satisfying.
There’s just as much action in Battle for Terra as there was in Avatar, though it’s of a different sort, and Battle For Terra actually comes off looking sort of weak-sauce compared to its vastly large budgeted counterpart. It’s hard not to look shabby against a movie with several times your budget.
Thus, the Screenhead Ten Scale can sympathize with the first but very much lessser iteration–the prototype, if you will–of Avatar, and gives it a six out of ten.