It should come as no surprise to people who read this blog that I love Battlestar Galactica. I love dark futures, I love survival scenarios where the heroes are massively outnumbered, I love retro-tech, and I love military hardware. I love this show so much that I've even done some work for QMx on BSG material.
That said, I don't love Razor.
I'm going to skip past the part where I say that, as the only new BSG programming we're getting this year, it should deliver a lot of bang (it doesn't) and leave us on the edge of our seats for season 4. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on what I didn't like about this movie. If you accuse me of nitpicking, you're probably correct; such is the stuff of nerd rage.
- The movie introduces us to a new character, Capt. Kendra Shaw. She is haunted by the ghosts of the past, and in an effort to put her past misdeeds behind her she lashes out and does drugs and yadda yadda yadda. Not only is this cliché, it is practically shorthand for This character will die before the end of the movie. Seriously, did anyone not see this coming? Please, let me know. I promise I won't mock you. I just want to know if anyone was caught by surprise by this.
- Admiral Caine has a lesbian affair. This bothers me, but not for the reason you probably think, for I have no problems with straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or any other kind of sexuality so long as it isn't done to children, animals, or nonconsenting adults. No, my problem here is that by making Gina her lover, they once again fall back to stereotype: that any strong-willed military woman must be a ball-busting dyke to succeed.
- Speaking of Caine, what is up with her hair? Forgive me for getting all girly on you here, but why does the Admiral's hairstyle go from dark and wavy -- -- to lighter and straighter ---- in the span of three months? Yes, I suppose she could have changed her 'do, but putting aside the possibility that the Pegasus has a beauty salon aboard to straighten and lighten her hair, please realize that she is an Admiral at war. Officers, especially those at the top of the chain of command, simply do not do that sort of thing, because they have to project the image that they are consistent in thought, action, and deed -- in other words, unchanging. I know this because my father is a career Army Colonel. Say what you will about Adm. Cain (and believe me, a lot can be said), she never once stopped projecting a constant "I am in total command here" vibe.
- The movie is told almost entirely in flashback. That in itself isn't an indictment against it, though; some movies, such as Pulp Fiction, make good use of it. This one doesn't, though, because 90% of the flashbacks are of things we already knew happened. What this means is that we spend so much time dealing with needless backstory that by the time the movie is 3/4ths finished, very little has actually happened plot-wise. As a result, the next 30 minutes are resolved in a rather half-assed fashion, and the truly interesting questions the show raises (What did Sharon mean by "evolutionary dead end?" Were the Guardians rogues, or simply left to die by the rest of the Cylon race? Did Jaycie die from her injuries? Were the things that Husker saw on the ice planet simply products of his imagination, or was the hybrid communicating with him in some way?) simply aren't answered.
Things I did like:
- The way they used some original-series BSG stuff (Cylon raiders, Centurions, Colonial Warrior uniforms) to highlight the difference between the First and Second Cylon War.
- Three old-school Cyons in a Raider, speaking in classically cheesy synthvoices. Excellent!
- One of the marines is named "Hudson," in an obvious nod to Aliens.
- The Razor Flashbacks which detail the adventures of Bill "Husker" Adama in the First Cylon War.
Who knows, maybe it'll be better. Maybe it will provide a better framework on which to hang the story, or the deleted scenes will answer more questions. But as it stands now though, Razor is just... dull.
*ba dump bump*