Going into the movie blind, I had no idea that Battle In Space… would be an anthology. As the plot became more confusing, I eventually realized that there was in fact no plot at all and that the sequences were only a string of vignettes where each, until the last, seemed somewhat connected by talk of aliens and magic. The movie could have used a narrator to drive home that this was an anthology and that each story should be understood within its own realm, in order to aid with coherency. Due to be released by Uncork’d Entertainment, who brought us recent sci-fi and dystopian future movies like Division 19 (review) and Desolate (review), is another B-movie feature called Battle In Space: The Armada Attacks (2021). Available on January 12th, 2021, Battle In Space… is an anthology comprised of five action-packed shorts from directors Sanjay F. Sharma, Toby Rawal, Scott Robson, Andrew Jaksch, Lukas Kendall, and Luis Tinoco.
A voiceover painted the scene of a post-apocalyptic existence, one where humans expanded across the galaxy in the early 2400s. Despite their newfound evolutions, the human race succumbed to subjugation when a species of invading aliens broke through time and space from another dimension, assisted by space wizards. The shorts followed human rebels, each fighting back against alien oppressors in their own struggles to survive in five harrowing chapters — Battle In Space: The Armada Attacks, The Hermes, The Agamemnon, The Perses, and The Caronte.
At times there were shots of planets and stardust that looked rather pretty, but more often than not, the effects looked more like a cartoon or animation that would be found in something like Titan A.E. (2000) rather than looking like CGI. This visual limitation was due to the low budget and was not overcome by any particularly spectacular shorts. Overall the graphics were hit or miss — the explosions in one of the shorts looked quite comical even, unfortunately. In my opinion, the first and the last chapters in the movie were the most compelling, with both having strong shows of character development and world-building. The other accompanying sections of the movie had the more dramatic storylines and had sufficient direction, with the quality and pacing only really faltering with the second short, The Hermes.
The title of the movie, itself, may perhaps be a bit misleading — most of the film takes place on the ground, and though there is some action with combat choreography and fun gunfights, there is not a whole lot going on in actual outer space, and certainly not any grand battles until quite late in the game. The expositional data dump at the beginning of the movie, which further alluded that this movie would be a one-storyline movie centered around galactic battleships, was also misleading — Battle In Space… lacking the space-battle aspect was disappointing.
In short, Houston, I have some problems with Battle In Space…. Aside from the surprise appearance from renowned body actor Doug Jones in one of the shorts, interesting makeup and design for the alien characters, and the emotionally powerful and well-structured final short, Battle In Space… suffered from low production quality in most of the shorts, a handful of inauthentic acting performances, and, I felt, lack of creativity in any of the storylines save for the last piece. It might capture views from the dedicated sci-fi movie-watching community, but it was nothing to write home about to me.
Adrienne Reese is a fan of movies - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and came to the horror genre by way of getting over her fear of... everything. Adrienne also writes for the Frida Cinema, and in addition to film enjoys cooking, Minesweeper, and binge-watching Game of Thrones.