Six people directed Battle In Space: The Armada Attacks: Andrew Jaksch, Lukas Kendall, Toby Rawal, Scott Robson, Sanjay F. Sharma, and Luis Tinoco. The sci-fi actioner was written by five people: Jaksch, Kendall, Sharma, Tinoco, and Josh Guttman. While that may seem to be too many cooks in the kitchen, fear not, as it is an anthology, though very loosely connected. And that is the first strike against the movie. The writers fail to intertwine the various tales properly, so there is little forward momentum, and plot beats seem to be introduced or are stopped rather abruptly. But can this homage to Roger Corman’s work in the 1980s (think Battle Beyond The Stars) overcome this and be enjoyable?
Each story follows a rebel, or group of rebels, as they battle interdimensional aliens who conquered the universe with the help of space wizards. The Armada Attacks follows a former law enforcement officer, now con artist, Jack (Andrew Troy), hired by a desperate dad to find his son. This entry has the strongest characterizations and some solid world-building. Troy handles the action well and gives one of the best performances of the entire production, bringing empathy to a desolate land.
The Hermes is the next segment, and it is about Jaymee (Ryan McCormick) and Adrian (Toby Rawal) as they search a planet for a specific item. Of course, things aren’t as easy as they’d hope. This is where the limited resources at the filmmakers’ disposal really show through in a bad way. McCormick is stilted, seemingly having just looked at the script before filming began. Plus, part of the climax takes place in what looks like the backroom of a mattress store. No attempts were made to light it in an interesting way to hide what it is. This takes one out of the film, and for the life of me, I cannot recall what they were looking for or why.
“…an anthology…follows a rebel, or group of rebels, as they battle interdimensional aliens who conquered the universe with the help of space wizards.”
In The Agamemnon, a spaceship captain, James (Dylan Watson), and his co-pilot, Lewis (Wayne Wilson), traverse the stars when an alien creature takes over the captain. This tale nicely builds up the world as it shows how and why the aliens (who aren’t name that I recall) trounced the human race so easily. But it feels incomplete as if they didn’t have times to finish the story properly.
The Perses finds Mo (Jess Gabor) and John (Tom Madden) alone on a ship, fighting for their survival as a different spacecraft hunts them down. But that’s not all the two have to deal with, as one of them is lying to the other, attempting to maneuver them into grave danger. The Perses is fraught with tension as Gabor and Madden perfectly play off each other while also keeping their guard up just enough so that the audience does not guess the truth too easily.
The Caronte introduces Debbie (Mia Lardner), who is attempting to contact her family via a video game her younger brother loved years ago. This is flashback heavy, and while the editing between present and past is excellent, it hurts Battle In Space overall by not focusing on the world as it is now. Lardner is good and shares believable chemistry with her sibling Oliver Lardner, who plays her on-screen brother Nicholas. Plus, the ending is absolutely brilliant.
"…the special effects, both make-up and CGI...will wow the audience..."