Battle For SkyArk movie full length review - Battle for SkyArk (Spoilers included)
Personally I believe this movies was made for a much young audience (in other words, not teen or adult sci-fi). It definitely had a "The Tribe" (
ref_=nv_sr_2) feel to it. This story has a lot of potential, but somewhere it slightly went off track, as if it was unsure of what type of movie it was trying to be (scifi or family film). The story has a lot of interpretation that can be found within the concept or even interaction of the main characters, but the film itself doesn't try to be overly technical or philosophical; it's simply a plain and simple story of survival for the young main characters, who doesn't feel particular fear or overly extremes of angst or tension in their struggle, which in turn might be seen as "poor acting" by some. IMHO it is simply because it was made for a younger audience which might not understand such complex human, emotional or societal issues.
The storyline was a bit rushed in my opinion, with characters just dumped into the story to create emotional loss later on, without really explaining what their role in the movie really was. An example is the main character, Rags/13 who is supposed to be the hero of the story, and the other younger kids at the camp and yet spends much of the story trying to become the hero whose transition was simply too quick and contrived, most of who has no clear function within the camp. Although it is meant as a coming of age story, it simply tries too hard to focus on the emotional moments of the film and not enough on what is going around them. Monsters are scattered at key points, almost as a forced moment of tension for the characters, and implied explanations are too readily available without a rational explanation why the explanation might be the correct one, automatically assuming the reasons given by the main character are the correct one, without even considering alternatives.
Also, the story doesn't explain why kids are dropped to the surface with no provisions or survival gear, yet "Skunk" gets a eye camera (sophisticated technology) to take to the surface. If you went down to a planet full of monsters, wouldn't you take some sort of protection or weaponry with you to increase your chances of survival, especially when you are on an important mission? It also doesn't go into detail why it would dump kids on the surface of the planet in drop pods, and yet bring the entire SkyArk down to pick them up again. In science fiction there are certain conventions in every story that allow characters for certain capabilities or limitations - in this film, there are no such conventions, which leads to a somewhat confused storytelling process.
The "blue drop" also has no real explanation of what it is or how it works. Hard core sci-fi fans will probably figure out long before the big fight at the end what the connection between it and the monsters are.
The "Monster" catchphrase also sounds as if it could have been lifted and somewhat modified from Stallone's "The Demolition Man". It feels as if it is somehow inappropriate in this movie, and some other phrase might have been better. The main characters also try to hard to bring purpose to their every action and every consequence, rather than on the journey each of them takes and how it effects their group dynamic in the process.
The end was also a bit overdone, when considered with the general pace and tone of the moment, trying to be overly heroic when the film was clearly trying to focus on the journey of the characters and their obstacles. Worth at least a single look, but am looking for more in my science fiction films.
NOTE: Other reviewers have touched on the technical issues of the film. I have focused more on the story and the characters themselves.