by ASH

“Earth, our home. As far as we know, our planet is unique. As far as we know, one day spent here is the most amazing thing in the whole universe.”

That’s the opening line of this BBC documentary, Earth: One Amazing Day, narrated by Robert Redford, about the wonders of this planet we call home.

The movie starts off deceptively enough, showing us wondrous images of our planet earth. But it quickly turns into a roller coaster of a ride, bringing us through one day around the earth, with scenes that are right out of an action movie. It has all the right ingredients. Here’s our countdown of the top 5 action scenes:

NO. 5 The Unexpected Move

You know how in some action movies, they made it seem like everything’s normal, only to have something suddenly happens that gives you a fright. Take the Deep Blue Sea, for example, Samuel L. Jackson’s character was giving a speech and he abruptly gets eaten up by a shark. This is exactly what happens here, pretty bug-eating plant just sits there, attracting unsuspecting victims to it, and just when you think all is good, it clamps down its trap with a crunch!

NO.4 Against All Odds

Steep, rocky coastline, constantly being beaten by fierce waves. That’s like the perfect backdrop for an action scene- or the setting of Escape from Alcatraz. Yet, it’s the lifestyle of the penguins of Zavadovski Island. The male penguins have to all bravely plunge into the stormy seas to hunt for food for their young penguins at the start of the day, then swim back and negotiate the precarious cliffs to get back to their families. And it’s not like penguins are terribly agile creatures. They waddle all the way. Did the baby penguins get enough to eat?

NO. 3 The Close Shave

Close shaves are what make action movies gripping, the near misses that make you heave a sigh of relief. That’s exactly what happens here. A zebra foal is innocently chilling out with its mum, and a cheetah is lying in wait, biding its time for the perfect moment to pounce on the young victim. And the cheetah almost succeeded, except the foal’s mum came out from behind and chase the cheetah away. Never underestimate the power of a mother! And while this is a typical occurrence in the animal world, it’s still a sight to behold.

NO. 2 The Mandatory Fight Scene

It’s not an action movie if there are no fights between characters. And there’s a classic fight scene in Earth: One Amazing Day. You’ve seen a kangaroo fight, but have you seen a giraffe fight? You would think in the animal world, the sense of camaraderie is strong between the same species. But just like humans, they can get ambitious or jealous, even for the most gentle of animals. We see a pair of giraffes going at each other, trying to protect their territory and attract the females in the group. The fight is intense and interesting. Because of how their bodies are formed, giraffes use their long necks to fight, whacking their opponent hard on his neck as well. And just like humans, the loser becomes an outcast, having to fend for itself, away from the rest.

NO.1 The Epic Chase

In most action movies, there has got to be a chase of some sort. In The Fast and the Furious, there are car chases. In Mission: Impossible, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) runs a lot after the bad guys. In Earth: One Amazing Day, the chase is between baby iguanas and snakes. Forget your car chases and sprints, this is the most exciting chase you’ll ever see.

Ten slithering snakes chasing after one iguana fresh out its nest makes you break out in cold sweat. The baby iguana hasn’t even had time to get used to crawling yet, and it already had to protect itself from the hungry mouths of the snakes. Complemented with pulsating music, you’ll be at the edge of your seat, rooting for that baby iguana, Will it make it!?

Honourable Mention: The Survival Game

The Bourne movies are your typical survival type movies. There is a hunter, and there’s a prey. Except that the prey isn’t going to just be beaten. As is this case in the documentary. The bee hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, and it’s busy almost every second, eating nectar. This action, of course, threatens bees, so you can imagine they are fierce competitors. The bees start their attack, but the hummingbird isn’t going down without a fight, and it gets increasingly intense when the bees get back up but the hummingbird stands along. The attackers surround the hummingbird, but the bird is like Jason Bourne, ever the artful dodger. And their fight in flight for survival is a delight to watch. Just one sting from the bee is lethal to the hummingbird, so it’s imperative that it keeps fighting!

If you think that Earth: One Amazing Day is all about sights of beautiful rolling hills and glistening streams think again. It’s a gritty look at nature’s natural selection process, and how it’s almost like an automated machine, where the strongest survive.

Earth: One Amazing Day