Battle In Space: The Armada Attacks

**

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Battle in Space: The Armada Attacks
"The framing narrative is handsomely presented and delivered with impressive confidence, but is unlikely to appeal much beyond its target audience."

It used to be the case that good special effects were out of the reach of most independent filmmakers, so the creators of small scale science fiction films would concentrate on the story and getting strong performances out of their actors. today that has changed and the ability to realise fantastic worlds from the comfort of one's own home has led many to focus intensely on that, at the expense of story and acting.

Battle In Space, to be fair, has a decent story structure. It's heavy on the world building and clearly intended as the first of a series, but it also stands alone pretty well, itself a collection of short tales linked by a common theme. We are in the far future. Humanity has spread out across the galaxy and prospered, but without anticipating the threat from a parallel universe in which civilisation has developed using magic instead of science. Aliens from that universe have now crossed over into ours and are seeking to destroy everything that our civilisation has built. True to form, our only hope lies in a small band of rebels who are coming together in an armada to try and take down the enemy. This film follows the stories of some of its ships.

Copy picture

It's a nice idea, and a framework which would seem to offer infinite sequel potential. Although this film has the flaws you'd expect given the inexperience of the team behind it, none of those damage its future potential, and one hopes that its creators will learn from them. Some of the short films within it are, of course, much stronger than others, whilst the framing narrative is handsomely presented and delivered with impressive confidence, but is unlikely to appeal much beyond its target audience. To put it simply, if the notion of space wizards is simply too silly for you to entertain, you shouldn't even try - though that is a shame in many ways, because few of the stories really depend on it.

The biggest real problem that the film has is the acting. In some of the shorts it's quite adequate, if a bit lacking in energy. In others, however, it's painful to watch. Creating cocky characters is always tricky - they're too easily adored by their creators, who struggle to see how, with just a slight misjudgement, they can be a pointless annoyance to everyone else. Whilst they certainly have a place in space opera, a combination of twee scripting and clumsy playing makes them a detriment here. By contrast, the female characters, free of the weight of tradition (since they have thankfully been allowed to keep their clothes on), work much better.

If you are a fan of science fiction cinema with an appetite for new universes to explore, you may well enjoy this film. Go in with modest expectations and you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's clear that a lot of love and effort have gone into it. Whilst it's not destined to become a classic, it's an ambitious first effort which could well pave the way for better things.

Reviewed on: 10 Jan 2021
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Battle In Space: The Armada Attacks packshot
In 2420, after aliens and powerful space wizards enslave human villages, a group of rebels organise a counter attack against their alien overlords by piloting fully loaded spaceships.

Director: Andrew Jaksch, Lukas Kendall, Toby Rawal, Scott Robson, Sanjay F Sharma, Luis Tinoco

Writer: Josh Guttman, Andrew Jaksch, Lukas Kendall, Sanjay F Sharma, Luis Tinoco

Starring: Declan Churchill Carter, Tom Farrah, Jess Gabor, Trip Hope, Mia Lardner

Year: 2021

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: US

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