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I hate to say it, but the Galactica stable are really losing their
The story is half stock footage from the series and half filler. OK, we learn some details like HOW Ellen Tigh got out alive - but we knew she did. We see some trivia, like who Caprica Six met just before the raid, but who cares? We see some familiar Cylons in unfamiliar and unexpected places, generally risking throwing off continuity.
We don't see the things I really wanted to know. I wanted to see the Cylon worlds. I wanted to see WHY the Cylons chose to attack, and why now. I want to see WHY they chose to infiltrate Earth, and why that way. I want to learn the Cylon choices and motivations and psychology.
Oddly, the costume designer was shown in the credits before the writer. I guess the writing is less important than the consulting producer and other illusory titles. Jane Epperson wrote this one, as well as being the executive producer. Ron Moore wasn't in the critical credits. Where was he? Perhaps if he'd spent more time on this than Virtuality he'd have gotten one good product.
While the visuals were good, what I feel is the now increasingly tired end of a series. How long will they keep scraping the bottom? I guess as long as they think they can make money at it.
First of all let me get one thing straight, this is in no way an
original Battlestar Galatica story. Razor had a story that centered
around a new character and told a somewhat self-contained story. This
is almost the complete opposite; no relevant new characters, no truly
new plot lines. This film is essentially a side story of the original
two seasons. It deals with the attack on the colonies and the
subsequent invasion and pursuit of Galactica from the point of view of
the Cylons; not just the original 8 models but also the final five.
The main character is actually Brother Cavil, in two different forms one on Caprica and one on-board Galatica. We see that Cavil plays a crucial role in orchestrating the Cylon events on the Galactica, while his Caprica counterpart takes the role of a distant observer to the struggling band of survivors on Caprica.
What I really liked about this movie is that it kind of ties everything together. It retreads the old plot lines of the first two seasons, but knowing the revelations to take place it puts everything in a different light. It also explores the intense cruelty and duality of Cavil. Additionally, some of the plot lines that were never quite clear, begin to make sense. (How did Leobin know so much about Kara? Where Valeri's actions intentional?) There are three issue that I can foresee someone having with this. The first being, that some might feel it being a retcon of the first two seasons to connects the events of the fourth. While this might be somewhat true, I don't think it takes anything away from them, and if you liked the fourth season it adds something significant to it. The second issue is that it is a retread. We already know exactly what happens to all these characters. But I don't think that the compelling part of this is what happens so much as why it happens, and what feelings and emotions are fueling the Cylons. The third is that there are basically no space battles to be seen here. There is a great opening sequence where we get a much more in depth look at the destruction of the colonies, but for a show called Battlestar Galatica we might expect some space jockey action.
I am not a prude but I must say that after seeing the unrated DVD, there is a bit of gratuitous nudity. Not that I had a problem with it, so to say, but it felt a little out of place, like it was trying to be a little shocking. Maybe it was just trying to give us a taste of what the show would have been like on HBO, i dunno just felt a little tacked on.
Overall this is a great companion piece to the series, does not feel entirely necessary but at the same time doesn't feel like it didn't need to be in the first place.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is an excellent addition to the series. In fact it only
covers the events of the first 2 seasons, but now seen from the cylon
perspective. It must be said though that it is quite mandatory that you
saw at least those 2 seasons, otherwise you won't have a clue what it
is all about.
Now the spoilers :
The movie is a combination of 2 stories, 2 perspectives, and a whole range of subplots as we've come to expect and love in the Battlestar series. The first perspective is from a brother Cavil model (the priest), on board of Galactica who runs the anti-human movement. The other perspective is from another brother Cavil, on the planet Caprica, where he infiltrates the resistance. Both brother Cavils are in essence exactly the same, but it are their different experiences that set them apart. Initially they both hate all humans (and act very much like spoiled children), but gradually things happen that make it change. One becomes better, the other becomes worse.
It is all very subtle, and only in the final conversation is everything said in more detail (though still subtle). However the full motivation behind the cylon attack on the colonies, and their sudden change of heart later (proposing the truce), is all there - some other comments here unfortunately fail to spot it and bash the whole movie as a result. The skinjobs attacked out of frustration with their limited human form and the obvious lack of acceptance as human, which caused them to hate their creators. "As long as a human lives there can be no place for cylons". Coupled with that they are also jealous of the real humans, because the cylons can never be anything else than machines. There are more reasons, but like I said it is all very subtle. It helps to think of the cylons as children without much life experience. The change of heart comes from the experiences of the individual skinjobs placed among the humans. To put it cheesy : they learn what it means to love, and that conquers all hatred. E.g. Boomer could not kill Adama because she loved him (which seemed like a plot hole at the time : if you wanted to kill Adama, just put the second bullet in his head instead of his chest. This plot hole is now "filled"). Even the stubborn Cavil who is left on the planet learns the meaning of it.
So all in all, a very good movie, that should be watched together with the series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a quick response to some of the other comments, I have to wonder if
a select few of those authors actually paid attention to the series
and/or this movie. While there are definite open ends when the series
ended, at least one of the authors above asked questions that were most
certainly answered. (e.g. "Why did the Final Five create the humanoid
Cylons?" We have that answer, give during the series. *SERIES SPOILER*
It was a bargain to try and end the cycle - the Final Five reached the
colonies right in the midst of the Cylon revolt. They traveled to the
twelve colonies to warn them about the cycle of destruction, but it had
already begun. In an attempt to salvage what was left, the Final Five
convinced the centurions to leave the colonies and in return, they
would provide the humanoid Cylons along with advancement to their
technology, i.e. resurrection.) Any way, back on point: another
reviewer put it well to say that this movie contains very little *new*
plot devices. For the most part, it reuses all of the plot devices from
the series, but tells them from the Cylon perspective. While I would
have appreciated some more detail into the model 7 (a.k.a. Daniel)
along with Kara Trace's mysterious character and the Baltar/Caprica-Six
Angels, I think this movie does a fantastic job of adding to the
re-imagined BSG canon. We all knew that Cavil played a significant role
from his discussions with Ellen in the final episodes of the series,
but this movie definitely gives him the spot light, allowing the
audience to see his personalities. The Plan does a good job at filling
in some minor plot holes like "what was happening with Boomer in season
1 when she kept blacking out" and it was interesting to see the
orchestrating that the different Cylons performed to achieve the result
of the series. The Plan starts after the Final Five had been placed on
Earth, and details a bit about how they lived before the fall, and how
they got onto Galactica, which was largely a missing link prior to this
In my opinion, I always jump on the skeptic wagon when I begin to watch a movie or TV show that is reusing material from earlier production. I'm careful to assess the movie and how much of it is simply recycled. I was pleased with The Plan, because while it does reuse material from the series and deleted scenes, I feel they do so in a significant way and not too much. Many scenes that they did pull from the series, they included the removed portions and shot new extended versions of those scenes to fill in any continuation holes. There are shots of the Final Five saying "this has happened before" (an eerie recall to their true identities before they awoke) which are new, considering Ronald D. Moore admitted to not having selected them until later in the series.
Overall, I give this a 7 / 10 because it could have done more. There are still other questions The Plan doesn't address, but I guess that is partially why Edward James Olmos said "this probably isn't the last BSG."
While the acting and direction of the sparse new footage was excellent, the point of this exercise sadly escapes me. This story answered NO questions I had; the answers it did present were either obvious or trivial. It was too confusing to draw new viewers, and too redundant to charm all but the fiercest fans. A few of the explications actually spawned new questions I did not want to have (e.g., were some 1's and 4's actually redeemable; I don't really want to think so, given the series ending). And the final (best) scenes were ruined by excising a certain key character and over-dubbing her original order. Contractual exigencies, no doubt -- a thought which was unfortunately running through my head for most of the show, preventing any willing suspension of disbelief. NBC/Universal, take note: devotees of this series are more intelligent and discriminating than this; this is not the way to milk them.
I was a great fan of the series and bought the DVD's as soon as they
This, however, was a real let down. It was almost more like a budget saving "clip show" than a movie. There was nothing new, no revelations, no finally uncovered PLAN. It was just a rehash of everything you knew before.
It was nice to see Edward James Olmos direct again and there were some new scenes (heavily mixed with clips).
I'm certain there are some great movies that could be made based on the series. Unfortunately this was not one of them.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Everything "The Plan" tells us about Battlestar Galactica we already
knew from the show.
The old plan: Kill all humans.
Some people survived.
The new plan: Kill those humans.
Meanwhile, various cylon individuals feel that "love" is very powerful, and decide to sympathize with the humans. The main Cavil says, "Screw that," and goes off to try and kill more people, but that comes to no surprise.
What did we expect out of this movie, anyway? There are a couple "plans" that I can think of that could use some extra explaining.
Why did the number 1's decide to reintroduce the Final 5 back into human society before the attack on the colonies? This movie does nothing to talk about how the Final 5 fit into Cavil's so-called plan.
What about the Simon's trying to find a way for cylons to give birth? No details on that plan.
What divine right did God give the cylons? Who knows.
Which deep, social and culturally relevant topics is James Edward Olmos addressing? Not sure.
Even as an avid fan of BSG, I'm not sure why this movie is rated so high by other people. The story was not gripping, insightful, or even entirely original (like Razor). Instead, it was disconnected, droll, and underwhelming.
I had mixed feelings about the concept of The Plan before I saw it:
Olmos spoke a lot about The Plan at a panel at '09 Wizard World
Convention in Philadelphia. He was very excited about the project and
led us to believe that we would be presented an intimate look at an
extended Cylon plot that ran concurrently with the series as a whole.
He did not deliver.
First, the movie is at least 40% Archive Footage (taken from Season 1 and Season 2). The scenes are woven in as helpful "reminders". These "reminders" help connect events from the show to their extended explanations in "The Plan". Truthfully, the archive footage is abrupt and unnecessary. Fans would easily be able to connect "The Plan"'s events.
The story of this movie lacks the provocative and thought-inspiring nature that BSG is so respected for. The writing is poor and the events play out in rather unspectacular way.
The only thing that saves this movie is the strong performances by Dean Cain, Tricia Helfer, and Callum Keith Rennie. Though the writing is not up to normal standards, these actors' mastery over their characters is readily apparent in this flimsy companion piece.
Overall, watch "The Plan", it's not very long and has a few interesting moments (spread far out in the film). More importantly, if you're interested in Brother Cavil, this is a great way to get some perspective on the bitter Cylon "leader." You need to disconnect your brain a little bit at some points (like seeing 7 Cylons hiding in plain sight on Galactica), and if you can, you can enjoy the bits of BSG-goodness hidden in the film.
Don't come looking for any kinds of answers here. The plan is nothing
more than some cut scenes and clumsy looking additions that never
really make for a really coherent whole. One possible general reason
the movie falls down is that it tries to tell both stories (human &
cylon) and really expects no previous knowledge of the series from the
viewer. Even the effects feel weaker than in the series - perhaps as
there are more of them.
If you want to add a bit of depth to the BSG world, watch the pilot of Caprica. That was much cooler and at least teased with the possibility of shedding some light onto the one-true-god nonsense of the Cylons. If you haven't seen the series, don't start here. You'll only think it's all rubbish. Watching the miniseries gives a fine (albeit a bit over long) start to the series, while the series is at its best from the second half of 1st season to the end of second season. Go there to see some fun and surprising scifi/drama.
Maybe a rating of 1 is excessive. But that's relative to the idea of the show and to the execution of the first couple of seasons that truly shined.
*EDIT* Original rating: 1 Corrected rating: 3 -- i did this simply to give the movie some credit, 'cause the performances are what they were in the series... and as I am huge BSG fan. My issues are with the promise and delivery (i.e. lack-of) the movie. *EDIT*
Never seen Battlestar Galactica before? Well, if you start here, you
probably won't pursue it any further. And for fans of the series, like
myself, I'm not even sure this is aimed at us? As another reviewer
accurately pointed out - this is truly "scraping the bottom".
TP's brief synopsis is the retelling of the Cylon attack on Caprica, and the immediate panic & events that ensue, as the human race frantically tries to salvage what it can and split to avoid complete annihilation. However, the first few seasons of the 2004 incarnation convey that simple sentence brilliantly, whereas this grab-bag makes it look like a show you're better off skipping.
Personally, I didn't watch "Caprica", the studio's previous effort at post-capitalizing off the franchise. Namely since, although it may have been good, the prelude just didn't really interest me. But good or not, it was certainly better than this prison chow.
In my opinion, the BG reincarnation has been very much of a Matrix-like experience. The first several seasons rocked. Edward James Olmos was the frakking commander of the gods-damn Battlestar Galactica warship that barely slipped away from the Cylon nuclear-mega-attack, and him, along w/his ace fighter pilots Starbuck & Apollo were going to save the frakking human-race and find some place called earth! Sign me the frak up! Then, much like "The Animatrix", the film "Razor" shows up, and tells a side-story with it all. Secret government missions, a psychotic admiral, torture, some awesome revelations, and just an all around excellent stand-alone story.
And then... the later seasons. Um, well, like Matrix: Reloaded, they weren't exactly "bad", and of course plenty of fans out there were still totally on board...
And then the conclusion. Like good old "Revolutions", it was a struggle for me folks. It was as though all the stuff I cared about was over, and the focus was on - well, I'm not sure, getting to the end?
Which brings us full-circle to The Plan. Although this is based entirely on opinion (hell, it is a review), this is my take: One day I went to the studio and said, "Hi, you know - I really thought that the first several seasons of Battlestar Galactic were so freaking awesome, but after that, I just felt that the series plummeted into oblivion. Is there anything you can do with the beginning seasons to make the feel more consistent throughout?"
They told me they had a plan.
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