Battle for the Planet

Battle for the Planet
So, apparently we're in the midst of an environmental crisis. Committees have been formed, leaders have been petitioned and brows have been furrowed. Created in time for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Battle for the Planet is mysteriously making its way to DVD just now, and while all the issues explored remain important today, nearly ten years later, the challenges are vastly different. Narrated by Kiefer Sutherland, Battle for the Planet combines interview footage from professional experts, including food aid pundit Eddie Ayensu (of the World Bank), and noted environmentalist Bo Landin, with a mixture of stock footage and interviews with earnestly concerned young people of different ethnic backgrounds. Everyone have their theories and solutions, but change seems nearly unattainable, overwhelming and wrapped up in red tape. Nonetheless, despite the occasional weatherpocalypse becoming more and more commonplace, it does seem that environmental consciousness has evolved over the past decade. Topicality is the big issue here. While Battle for the Planet's intentions are admirable a hundred times over, it's also regrettably superfluous. While the film offers a laundry list of problems, the root cause of which seems largely to be over-population, it offers no practical solutions other than recycling, which everyone figured out in the mid-'80s. Battle for the Planet might make excellent high school classroom fodder, but it doesn't distinguish itself otherwise. If you're looking for some convincing that we need to do something to help protect the Earth, check out any random episode of the BBC's remarkable Planet Earth or Life series. The ultimate irony is that Battle for the Planet is just another unnecessary DVD destined for the landfill. (Alliance)