Battle for Skyark Review

by Nav Qateel

Set sometime in the near future, Earth has become a barren, dangerous wasteland. The few remaining humans that are trying to survive, share the planet with strange creatures known as “Monsters,” that attack without warning. In very near-Earth orbit, humanity has been forced to find refuge in the man-made city, Skyark. With a growing population, only the richest and most powerful are allowed to remain on board, while others are jettisoned down to Earth. A young boy named Rags is the latest to be exiled to Earth, after his father is executed for treason. Rags is rescued by a group of child survivors, and together they plan on bringing down Skyark.

From first-time director Simon Hung, Battle for Skyark is an attempt at a low-budget, young adult sci-fi flick. We’re treated to a few nice shots from space showing Skyark in all its glory, but the majority of the film is set on a windswept Earth, in a place Vin Diesel’s Riddick would feel right at home. Several children of various ages, from the very young to late teens, have mysteriously survived in this brutal environment. Where these young survivors get food and water from to sustain themselves, was actually more of a mystery than the creatures that are always hunting them. Their attire was also something that concerned me, more than a little. As soon as I spotted one kid wearing a large cooking pot on her head, I guessed we were in for a tedious ride. I wasn’t disappointed. The kids live in an airplane junkyard, which dictates what they adorn themselves with. At least, it should. Like gaskets, crushed soda cans, and other absolutely pointless detritus, randomly stuck onto jackets and helmets. Did I mention the pot?

Battle for Skyark
Directed by
Simon Hung
Caon Mortenson, Garrett Coffey, Taylor Coliee
Release Date
7 May 2015
Nav’s Grade: C-

Thanks to a voice-over during the film’s opening, we learn that the survivors are waiting on a saviour of sorts; a boy with 13 shadows will come to save them. The “shadows” are red marks that all the children have on their forearms, but only one bears 13 of them, and that turns out to be Rags (Caon Mortenson). After a 2 minute training session with a thin, flat-ended, blunt piece of metal that he keeps as his weapon of choice (?!), Rags gets a chance to struggle with the whole being a hero thing. In stereotypical fashion, Rags messes up his first mission, with everyone turning against him. Well, everyone that’s left. However, redemption is assured because that’s what always happens in movies.

The story is rather unfocused and convoluted, and while we’re led to believe that what we’re seeing is only a precursor to an attack on Skyark, by the beginning of the third act it becomes clear that the title is a tad misleading. Battle for Skyark is actually “Battle with a couple of Monsters.” Perhaps it was originally meant to be another paradoxical four-film “trilogy.” The actors did their best with what they had to work with, and a lot of the film looked pretty good, particularly the CG work. Looks, however, can be deceiving. Let’s hope director Simon Hung learns from the experience, and puts it all to good use in his next effort.