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Battlestar Galactica: Razor

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

What He said:

He

The first time I saw this I was pretty excited. If I remember correctly, the show was on hiatus and this aired between the end of season 3 and beginning of season 4. More BSG was a good thing to me. I was dying for more of this show and not only was I going to get it, I was going to get it in the form of a movie.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor takes us back in time to season 2, when Lee (Jamie Bamber) first became the commander of the Pegasus. After being on the run from the Cylons for quite some time, the crew of the Galactica finally found some good news in the form of a second ship named Pegasus. Unfortunately, the commander and crew were….kind of crazy. The Pegasus did things the Galactica wouldn’t dream of. They raided civilian ships, stole their supplies, and treated their prisoners of war in such a horrible manner, that more traditional forms of torture seem like a day at the spa. Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes) and her crew were awful people. So when Lee becomes the new commander of the ship, his first order of business is to clean it up. He has to walk a fine line though. He does not want to lose his crew. He wants to let them know their actions will no longer be tolerated, but he needs to command their respect too. As a result, he names Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobs) as his second in command.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

Shaw is a tough – if not mean – gal. She was one of Cain’s favorites, so Lee thinks she’s a good choice, as it will earn him the respect of the crew. It should come as no surprise that ace pilot Kara “Starbuck” Thrace – and sometimes girlfriend of Lee – and Shaw don’t get along. Both are strong, stubborn, and independent types. They also both really hate the Cylons, so they come to an understanding when they go on a rescue mission together.

The mission involves rescuing a science team that has been taken hostage aboard one of the Cylon ships. The weird thing about this group of Cylons is that they look like Cylons from the First Cylon War. They are old-school centurions (the one on the left) rather than the newer ones of the current war. I remember when I saw this, I geeked out. I was excited by this new revelation that there was a group of old Cylons out there doing….well that’s part of the problem. The movie teased something, but nothing ever really came of these different looking Cylons. They popped up again in the show’s finale, but not much more was revealed about them, or why they remained separate from the rest of the fleet.

I thought the movie did a nice job of expanding on both Admiral Cain and Adama’s backstories. You got to find out more about their youth and more particularly their experience in the First Clone War, which helped shape who they are. Also, you find out more about why Cain is such a monster during the current one. I thought that part of the movie was handled well.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

The Kendra Shaw character was another thing that I wasn’t crazy about. She was a stereotypical tough chick, which didn’t bother me, but it’s that well…spoiler alert… she isn’t in any previous or future episodes, so you know she’s going to die. That’s ok, but it just felt rushed. It felt like they created this backstory and shoved as much as they could down your throat about the character, and then she’s dead. It wasn’t surprising and was a little lacking in tension and drama.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

This “movie” is really just a couple of unused episodes combined into a longer one. It’s got all the quality acting you’d expect from this show, but felt rather pointless at times. None of it really amounted to anything in the end. The stuff with the old Cylons indicated more to come, but that never went anywhere, and that was disappointing. I did like the expansion of Cain and Adama’s (Edward James Olmos) backstories. That worked for me. The thing that really bugged me was that by creating a movie, you imply you’re getting something bigger, better, or at the very least new/fresh from the average episode. This movie hinted at it, but some of what they hinted at really went nowhere in the long run. It’s a decent enough movie, but knowing that it goes nowhere makes it feel like a wasted opportunity.

Rating: Thumbs half up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on April 7, 2009.

 

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