Oceans

Oceans

***1/2

 

Humanity has basically succeeded in conquering the land of planet earth. We have been the dominant species from the dawn of our existence.

We’ve even managed to take it a big step further during the past five or ten thousand years. Now we not only rule the land, we shape it and alter it to suit our needs and wants. Good for us, I say.

But the vast majority of the earth is virtually untouched by man. “Oceans” is a well-made, entertaining documentary about how the other 90% of the planet’s fauna lives.

The animals that are featured in “Oceans” are pretty much the same critters that you’ve seen in a hundred television nature shows before. There are adorable sea otters, majestic whales, scary sharks, and creepy crustaceans.

“Oceans” also introduces us to several species that defy easy explanation or classification. They remind us that the sea has a diversity of life that we on the boring ol’ land can’t compete with.

One of the keenest points that the film makes is that the human race is fascinated by the notion of life on other planets, but the earth hides an alien world just below the ocean’s surface that is as interesting and foreign to us as the extra terrestrials beyond the stars (who may or not actually exist).

There is an amazing and disturbing scene where two competing armies of crabs meet on the ocean floor for an unimaginably gigantic and unnecessary battle. It perfectly illustrates that the instinct to claim territory and to fight your fellow creature is every bit as basic and natural as the drive to eat and reproduce.

Sadly, but inevitably, “Oceans” tosses some knee-jerk liberalism into the mix. Narrator Pierce Brosnan accuses humanity of destroying the great oceans of the world.

What a bunch of nonsense. We couldn’t destroy the sea if we tried. I suppose we could eradicate a few species if we put our minds to it, but who really cares other than a handful of sentimental environmentalists?

The sea is more timeless and resilient than we newcomers to the planet can possibly comprehend.

An extinct animal will in time be replaced by a new, different species that will take over the old animal’s niche. And that new species will be thriving in the pristine ocean ten million years after the last human skull has dissolved into dust on the land.

But I don’t go to the movies looking to agree with everything the filmmakers have to say. I like movies that make me think and keep me entertained. “Oceans” did both. I recommend it.

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