Universal // 2007 // 114 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 29th, 2010
The good Battlestar Galactica TV movie.
This feature-length slice of Galactica canon gives a look at the events surrounding the "other" Battlestar -- Pegasus -- and her slightly-nutso commander Admiral Cain (Michelle Forbes, Star Trek: The Next Generation). The straight dope: a great self-contained story, fills in some plot points for future episodes, and loaded with space combat action. And it finally lands on Blu-ray.
During the Cylon nuclear attack, Admiral Cain opted to take her monster Battlestar on a series of counter-offensive runs, attacking relay stations and Cylon bases. By her side is Kendra Shaw (Stephanie Jacobsen, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), a plucky young officer who's willing to be molded by Cain into a "razor," an implement of war, tasked with executing her commander's tasks without question, no matter how unsavory they may be.
Their story is told in a series of flashbacks, as the present timeline finds Cain and Adama (Edward James Olmos, Selena) working together to stop a nefarious Cylon plot, which, as we all know, are the only kind of plots the Cylons hatch.
BSG: Razor works. Though I'm not the biggest fan of the Admiral Cain character (maybe it has something to do with my inexplicable aversion to Michelle Forbes), this TV movie packs a solid punch and features the most action per capita of any Galactica effort save for maybe Part 2 of the series finale.
There are two major storylines: 1) Kendra Shaw's evolution from ambitious officer to ruthless badass, and 2) the mission to defuse for the Cylons' hybrid-building scheme. Both are compelling in their own right and told well, juxtaposed with branching flashbacks. You even get some old school Adama action, a thrilling retelling of this young fighter pilot and his terrifyingly intimate encounter with the Cylon chop shop.
Both plots intercede for a final attack on the Cylons (featuring old-school Centurions) and a cool, if predictable, culmination of the Shaw storyline. Along the way, there is much ship-to-ship combat, giant Basestar explosions, and some innovative action sequences, like young Adama's perilous freefall. And the BSG regulars aren't relegated to cameo status either, as Olmos, Jamie Bamber (Law and Order: UK), and Katee Sackhoff, (Nip/Tuck) enjoy substantial screen-time.
Like the previous series material presented in high-definition, BSG: Razor performs at a high level. Thanks to the show being shot in HD, the picture quality shines on Blu-ray, its 1.78:1 1080p widescreen pushing out the myriad colors and effects work with precision and verve. Space battles look fantastic, further solidifying my belief that this show has sported the best visual effects ever seen on the small screen; as do those Centurions, well-animated and not betrayed by boosted resolution. Sound is a stand-out, the DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio pushing the excellent score and the kinetic effects. Extras: deleted scenes, minisodes, commentary on the extended edition, a featurette on the look of the show, and a dated segment called "My Favorite Episodes So Far."
BSG: Razor is a nice peripheral story in the BSG universe and looks great on Blu-ray. Complete your collection! (Or don't buy the The Plan and get this instead.)
Not Guilty. So say just me.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 114 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes