Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars (2004) Review

Ah, Farscape. One of the best television shows out there, people. After ending on a cliffhanger, you can imagine that I was pretty happy to hear about a miniseries being made to wrap up the series. In order to understand this magnificient finale, one must take a quick look at the 4-season TV series.

The story follows John Crichton, an American astronaut who is accidentally transported through a wormhole to the other side of the universe and has to survive in the midst of escaped prisoners. Through the course of the series, Crichton makes a few friends and countless of enemies. By the end of season 4, the entire galaxy is quite literally chasing him. So what makes Crichton such a prize to the "galactic police" aka Peacekeepers and to the reptilian-like Scarrans and all their servants? The answer is a secret repository of data locked into Crichton's mind that, if unlocked gave the owner unlimited power over wormholes, especially the power to create doomsday weapons.
So that's Farscape in a nutshell.

The miniseries takes place 2 months after the ending of the series and begins with the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans finally going to war. Crichton's archenemy Scorpius returns to tell him(again) that unless he creates the big wormhole weapon, peace isn't an option. Hoping to avoid such a violent path, Crichton and co. return to the planet Arnessk to seek help from the Eidelons(who are renowned as great peacemakers). After some convincing, the priests agree to help the crew make peace and send one of their own with them. After a series of horrific events, the priest is killed and the crew are forced to transfer his knowledge into the insane-enough-already Stark who goes beyond his usual crazy self. Unfortunately, both of the Eidelon planets soon come under attack from the Scarrans and everything around Crichton pushes the human to finally unleash the ultimate weapon...

The quality of the movie is astounding, every detail is clear and unlike so many miniseries like it, this purely follows the heart of the TV series and it is easy to forget that this is not just another awesome episode.

Despite that, the producers do admit that PKW is the result of Farscape Season 5 crammed into two episodes and it shows. The return of Jothee, for example is completely unexpected, completely unnecessary and completely bewildering. All he really does is provide invisible back-up for the crew and add to the ending of D'Argo's story. He does nothing really important other than accept D'Argo's Qualta blade at the end. The same for Rygel and Bishan, all it does is provide a little conclusion.

Sikozu has gotten a complete make-over(no complaints there, she looked fantastic) and I for one am completely happy with it. At least she isn't a Jool ripoff anymore. Unfortunately, her story was not great. Her being a Scarran spy makes absolutely no sense considering her backstory? And I refuse to accept that she's idiotic enough to believe they will set her race free.
Jool is a cavewoman. I have no idea why.
Noranti is barely even in it, no problem because I forgot her existence even in the series.
Chiana has bug eyes. Okay, fine with me, but she has new superpowers. I am not kidding, this is the THIRD time she gets new superpowers. First she could see the future(s3), then she could slow down time(s4) and now she has X-ray vision(PKW). It's kinda funny, actually.

I think my really favourite moments in PKW were the scenes with John and Harvey(and Einstein). Not only because they were the best on the TV show, but because they're still the best here. Browder and Pygram have a fantastic villain/best buddy chemistry and it has not worn off at all. I really liked the 2001 scene at the end. Shows that people haven't forgotten that old movie.
My least favourite moment was easily the battle between the crew and the Scarrans on the planet. Sure, it was Farscape-ish and fun and we got to see the baby(finally), but it just dragged on. And on. And on. Even with the fast-forward button, it's a never-ending battle. At least 1/3 of it could've been cut out and used for some better D'Argo/Jothee cleanup. And a little bit more Harvey if I say so myself.

Ultimately, I believe this to be fantastic sci-fi(just like the series itself) and even if you haven't seen Farscape, the movie will give you enough backstory for you to understand the plot, but it's best that you do, because you might still be confused.
I recommend this movie to sci-fi fans, comedy fans and fans of general awesomeness.

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