Earth: One Amazing Day
In 2007, BBC Worldwide released Earth in cinemas shortly after David Attenborough’s Planet Earth was broadcast in Britain. The film was meant to be a companion piece, using scenes from the show and tying them into a feature-length narrative. It was a decent success, grossing $109 million at the box office. Ten years later – shortly after Planet Earth II – comes Earth: One Amazing Day, which follows the same premise.
Taking place over the course of one Earth day, we travel across the world and watch the routines of exotic wildlife from dawn til dusk. It unfolds like Kevin MacDonald’s 2011 social documentary Life in a Day, only with animals.
One Amazing Day might have worked back in 2007, when YouTube and social media were still in their infancy and the original show wasn’t beamed to so many countries. But in 2017, the entertaining and devastating displays of nature in Planet Earth II were shared across the world. Even those who haven’t watched a single episode have enjoyed the iguana-snake chase in the Galapagos. That scene has been watched 4.5 million times on YouTube and the episode itself attracted over 12 million viewers in the UK alone. Because of these modern developments, we’ve already seen everything One Amazing Day has to offer. The only difference is that it’s worse.
The film is a 90-minute “Best Of” compilation video of Planet Earth II’s greatest bits – only Attenborough isn’t involved. Robert Redford takes over the narration, possessing no soothing, storyteller tones. His voice sounds rough and rusty, more threatening than warm.
The project has three directors and three writers – all of whom have never been involved in a nature documentary before. There wasn’t enough love, care, or talent to make it engaging. They even devalue the beauty of the original scenes by inserting puerile fart noises when an animal shows its rear end. Not only is their imagination weak, their humour is too.
One wonders why they made this movie, aside from the obvious monetary reasons. But people won’t pay a cinema fee to see something they can watch on their laptops or televisions – especially if the film version is inferior. Despite the beauty of the shots, which look majestic on the big screen, none of the original thrill remains. It’s a pointless watch. Seek out the series instead.
Earth: One Amazing Day is released in selected cinemas on 20th October 2017.
Watch the trailer for Earth: One Amazing Day here: