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TV Review: Sci-Fi Channel Original – Savage Planet

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Science fiction can be tough to write. It’s hard to make the science, entertainment, and story move along together without confusing the viewer or causing everything to fall apart due to plot holes. In the case of Savage Planet, the holes don’t come from the story, they come from ridiculous logic of why the movie was made in the first place.

The set up is a simple one. Earth is nearing its breaking point as humans slowly destroy it. A corporation finds a new Earth-like planet, they help create life on it, and then want all of it to be claimed in their name. Planet “Oxygen” is reached through a new technology, and people are sent to discover its secrets.

So far, things are working fine. We have intergalactic space travel, an alien planet, the evil conniving corporation owner, and the assurance some of the crew will meet a gruesome death once they arrive. What remains unanswered is what will actually be the threat. A massive alien life form? No. A new type of plant that can suck the blood from any human foolish enough to get close? No. An active volcano that’s actually alive? No. What is this mysterious life form that could potentially end our chances of ever getting off our doomed planet?

Bears.

Yes, brown bears. Apparently, they’re the only form of life on this planet too. The audience is never introduced to anything else visually. Audio cues let us hear some birds and the actors talk about fish, but the rulers of the world are bears. It’s hard to imaging the food chain at work here.

This obviously leads to a plethora of questions. We’re never sure how so many of the bears survive, why they’re rarely shown outside of the same repetitious stock footage, why the CG is completely unbelievable, or why anyone would bother writing a script that sends the actors to another planet if they could have the same experience right here on Earth. It’s not only poorly executed, it was a ridiculous concept to begin with.

As seen in the opening moments, we learn of a substance that regrows cells. It’s coming up from the ground, and it doesn’t take much to figure out this is what the human crew is really after. Of course, after all the doom and gloom of the condition of planet Earth in this film’s timeline, you have to wonder why they would want to help people live longer or infinitely. Wouldn’t that cause more problems instead of fixing them?

All of this happens on top of a brutally miserable soundtrack that’s completely out of place. There’s nothing here worth viewing aside from some over-the-top gratuitous gore. The entire concept is stupid enough to make the viewer feel actual physical pain. This “savage planet” seems to be someone’s backyard.

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About Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki has critiqued home media and video games for 13 years and is the reviews editor for Pulp365.com. His current passion project is the technically minded DoBlu.com. You can read Matt's body of work via his personal WordPress blog, and follow him on Twitter @Matt_Paprocki.
  • http://www.dreadcentral.com Foywonder

    Oh, you fickle bastard (and I say this as the king of fickle bastards), you may have felt physical pain but most of the rest of us will be feeling uproarious laughter. I knew going in that it had to do with BEARS IN SPACE~! but nothing prepared me for the stock footage and just sheer idiocy of the whole thing. Awful indeed. Hilarious even more so.

  • http://www.breakingwindows.com Matt Paprocki

    Maybe as a sequel to Snakes on a Plane, this may have worked as Bears in Space… hmm… Someone call New Line!

    They could even do a trilogy, or double bill it like things used to be. Maybe, say, “Platypus on a Cruise Ship.”

  • Jon

    You said in your review that “It’s hard to imaging the food chain at work here.” I think you meant imagine. Have a nice day.

  • Dom

    Oh MY God!
    This Shitty movie was SO FREAKIN BAD that I actually DIED during it!
    …after waking up alive again, thanks to a power cutoff, I put that DVD into a barrel of pure Plutonium, just to be sure it won’t be on any screen EVER AGAIN!

    Conclusion: movies sucked a lot!

  • Gabriel

    I agree…Ive never seen anything so stupid in my life….bears , exactly how they look in our planet on a planet that looks exactly like hours an nothing else…this is insulting even to an 8 year old kid..

  • http://salesoutpro.com Lute

    Bears? Freaking bears??? Not even a race of mutant genetically altered intelligent bears or even bears with lasers attached to their heads (thank you Dr. Evil). I love the camp factor on some Sci-Fi movies and I kept waiting for this movie to get better – it never did.

    This movie script would have been easy to write (with any imagination or an IQ over salad dressing) – as laid out above all the essential elements are there: Evil corporation / owner, strange far-off planet, team member interpersonal issues, space travel, technology – this should have wrote itself.

    Freaking brown bears…

  • Jay

    The scenes before the title were hilarious, so I thought it was a dark comedy of some sort. Then when the 2nd party finally encounters what obviously is a bear, the first comment is: “What is that!” Too funny, but so lame, I lost interest. I was thinking that the first party would have possibly become ‘the threat’ after falling into the ‘cave with green, regenerating slime’. But, that would have required creative intelligence.