The forlorn bury themselves in romantic movies for the purpose of feeding a love-starved existence. Testosterone junkies crave action movies to get the blood pumping in their dull life. Science Fiction and Fantasy are my opiates and my toxins. I overdose on them because they offer an escape while challenging my mind to justify the laws of physics ingrained in me from my classroom days. They can make anything up and require little to prove it, yet it wraps together so we can make some sense of it by exercising our imagination. Science Fiction means the future, the future means survival. Tossing in adventure or forbidden alien love satisfies my other needs. I am not so complex.
We bury ourselves in a storyline, even if only for 90 minutes. Some movies drag on, showing things which do not add to the story, but fluff it up enough to call it a movie. Greedy executives cut away what the director or writer dreamed, in the name of adding an extra show to the daily rotation for quicker profits. This movie suffered from neither malady. Everything presented was necessary to the plot. While the dialog was not Wadsworth prose or a Shakespearean sonnet, I was not disappointed.
Armchair critics have high expectations and pan movies in a lemming-like fashion instead of thinking for themselves and appreciating it for what it is; entertainment to fill a slow day or slower night. While not "Lucas" or "Spielberg", the director did a great job. Scenes were in focus, and their tiny budget would barely cover the catering costs for a major production, let alone exceptional special effects, yet this movie was not defined by computer assisted enhancements. The clarity of the voices meant we could all enjoy the film without turning on subtitles which is a plus so we were not distracted from the movie.
They could have put on a cheesy lens filter to turn the flora purple or pink, or added plastic plants of similar tones, but sticking with the truth made the ending that much more credible. That lack of a grandiose budget was probably the ultimate reason we were not over-exposed to large colonies of aliens, or chases through buildings and aircraft filled skies. The plot was strengthened by it.
In this story, Earth was in its death-throes after being conquered by an alien race. Lifeboats (space ships) were launched to send humanity to different planets to find a new home. The fact that there were at least 2 distinct Earth vessels that arrived on the same planet opened up a question which went unanswered until the end. There were the good characters, and protective military characters, and of course the selfish "I don't care if everyone else dies, so long as I live" characters.
These humans from different departure points met up when the ship we were watching at the beginning crash-landed where the other ship's survivors were being held prisoner (convenient!) We were also introduced to two different alien races, one light-skinned that was visible, the other a translucent (like "Predator") that was mostly invisible. The first was just trying to stay alive, and both they and the Earth people were being shot down by some electrical pulse energy weapon. In the process of staying alive, one of the visible aliens became part of the human group. She had been a prisoner with the other Earth people and knew some English. She was a survivalist, and very pretty with skin colored like the surrounding jungle.
The Star Trek "Data" styled "TIM", (an android) was semi-helpful but not spouting robotic laws as defined by Asimov. His path was not to become more human, but merely to protect those he was with, even if he died doing it. There was nothing cliché in his role since logic dictates if we could build a robot to help on an alien world, it would be like him.
They ran to survive, but the goal became to leave the planet, and in order to do that, they had to recover a craft they spotted in the first five minutes (while crash-landing of all things). Then they had to get the locals to combine with them against the chameleons while the greedy were making their own plans to take over. And let us not forget about the forbidden alien love that was starting to blossom. I must admit, for a camouflage-tinted woman, the love interest of the main character (Adrian Paul) was beautiful. She had a similar appearance to a Sci-Fi favorite of mine, Summer Glau, like maybe a younger sister, or cousin.
To conclude, I often purchase movies like this in the $5 DVD pile and I will collect this one as well. It was far more interesting than Outerworld or many of the others that have appeared as Original Movies on the Sci-Fi Channel. My point is if we support what they put out, they will be encouraged to continue producing, and really good Independent Films will be the result. I hate reality shows. The movie "Idiocracy" points out where we are heading with them. Lol. Not every movie will be a Blockbuster, but there will be some entertainment. It beats 12 naked people on an island armed with spears and monitored 247 for our (gag) enjoyment.
I am an easier grader than most, and if something is 5 stars or above (out of 10), it is worth seeing, even if only once. I will watch this one several more times for sure.
Review by mpscouten from the Internet Movie Database.