Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TV Movie Review: Battlestar Galactica-Razor

Geekanerd dispatched an expeditionary force (comprised of myself and fellow geekanerd Bishop) to an advanced screening of the upcoming mini-movie event, Battlestar Galactica: Razor. I'm the one that got saddled with the task of writing up the mission report. Don't worry, no serious spoilers, for those of you who aren't caught up. Anyhow, here's your debriefing:

Before we begin, let's be completely honest with ourselves; Razor is essentially nothing more than an appeasement to keep the nerd hordes at bay. With the previous season ending last march, and the next season beginning in 2008 (the fact that there's no official month, let alone season, attached to that doesn't bode well) Battlestar fans have a long drought to suffer through. But luckily, the shows creators were honest with themselves as well, and there was no attempt to hide the fact that this was nerd fodder. Even the cylons in this installment were the old 70s model bots that nerds from times past knew and loved; so yeah, they knew how to make the crowd happy to say the least.

So, beyond the fact that this was not much more than Battlestar Galactica masturbation offering little but a brief foreshadowing of the season to come (and bleak was that shadow that was fored), it added up to being two fairly strong episodes that will certainly keep this nerd at bay for the time being...

For the full review, hit the jump

Though Razor offers little to the overall plot of Battlestar, it does at least explore issues that were in the back of all of our heads. Namely, how the Pegasus survived the initial attack and subsequent months. But don't expect that to mean the story is without the characters we're all happily familiar with. The story starts with the Pegasus' first mission under Lee Adama, and follows closely his new second in command, Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen). Through her constant flashbacks, a tale of the Pegasus' past is revealed. If flashbacks aren't your thing, too bad, cause there are alot of them. There's even an Admiral Adama flashback in the middle of all the Kendra flashbacks-a bit much for my taste, but my only actual complaint about Razor.

Thematically, Razor addresses the ever present Battlestar question of "how far is too far?" In a time of war, what is and isn't appropriate. All relevant questions of the time, and consistent
with Battlestar's political gutsiness. Though I'm usually one to say, "let a war criminal, be a war criminal," I was definitely happy to see the now vilified Admiral Cain in a more human light; only to watch her devolve into the Nuremberg-worthy Admiral Cain we all know and love. Beyond that, we see the first hand effect of following questionable orders, as they weigh heavily on Kendra. My how topical!

But Razor isn't all unanswered questions answered. The "present day" plot involving the retro Cylons is alot of fun and has some kickass space battles. And, finally, at the end it touches upon the upcoming season, casting serious doubt on one of our main characters. So it wasn't all for naught.

Overall, though Razor was thoroughly unnecessary, it was thoroughly appreciated. Treat it as two stand alone episodes and you won't be disappointed. Besides, if you're a Battlestar fan, soak it up. Even the ambiguous "2008" premiere date may seem ambitious in light of the current writer's guild strike; so this may be the last Battlestar you get in quite a while.

Degan's grade: a much appreciated B

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