Last night I saw Battlefield Earth.
This morning I joined Scientology.
OK, not really. But a lot of paranoid folk would have you think that this
summer sci-fi flick is nothing more than a subliminal recruitment film for
the freakishly secretive religion. All I can say on that is, if it is
supposed to be a recruitment film, you'd think they'd have made a better
Battlefield Earth is a bad movie. A really bad movie. It makes little
sense. It is stupid. It is lame. Don't go see it. It makes Wing Commander
look like a work of art.
It is the year 3000. Earth has been conquered and mankind enslaved by really
tall, dreadlocked aliens. One man leads a rebellion to free humanity. There
Seems easy, doesn't it? And yet, it's lame. Lame, lame, lame, lame, lame.
It makes leaps of logic that defy reality, like having a bunch of stone-age
humans become ace jet pilots in a week. Lame.
But what really makes the movie lame is how cheap and silly everything seems.
The big bad aliens are supposed to be nine feet tall, so you got a bunch of
actors walking around on stilts. Lame. Every scene ends with a "Star Wars
Wipe" where the new scene opens over the old scene like a curtain being drawn
aside. Cool effect when it's done in a number of different ways over the
course of a movie. When it's the same damn wipe every damn scene, it gets
really old, really quick. Lame.
A big deal was made about how they only used the first half of the book in
this movie, saving the second half for (God forbid) a sequel. And it's a long
movie as it is, clocking in at almost two hours. But it could have been a
lot shorter, and they might have been able to fit the entire book into the
film, if every damn moment hadn't been filmed in SLOW MOTION! Lame.
The action sequences are disjointed. Who's shooting at who? Who's punching
who? Who's body-slamming who? Lame. The acting is high-school level or
worse. Lots of people trying to sound educated by not using contractions, so
they end up sounding awkward and silly. Lame. And where, oh where is the
realism? I understand that the future may contain bloodless weapons, but
when you collar someone with explosives and blow their head off, anyone
standing within a couple feet of this person should have some blood
splattered on them, don't you think? Lame.
One of the main problems with the film is that the villain, played by Academy
Award Nominated actor John Travolta, is supposed to be a brilliant, evil,
dangerous creature. But he's dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
"Look at that human. He has already killed a couple of our guards, and
managed to escape when no one else ever has. He shows intelligence,
resourcefulness and leadership abilities. And he hates us. Let us teach him
all about us and how to use our guns, ships and other machinery, then leave
him unsupervised for days at a time."
Another plot point fiasco. Evil alien gives humans a ship, tells them to go
and mine gold and come back in two weeks. And has a flying surveillance
camera to keep tabs on them. So humans pretend to mine for gold when camera
flies by while secretly planning rebellion. Meanwhile, hero takes the ship
and flies across the country for days at a time.
So the surveillance camera will sound the alarm if it doesn't look like the
humans are mining but it won't notice that THE DAMN SHIP IS MISSING? Lame.
In the end, the movie is lame. Lame acting, lame direction, super-lame
script. Lame effects, lame make-up, lame soundtrack. Lame, lame, lame,
If you still feel the need to see this movie, take a large mallet and smack
yourself on the head, then send me your 8 dollars. Trust me, it'll be more
rewarding for all. Battlefield Earth gets 1 Babylon. Why not zero?
There's a chick with a really long tongue in one scene. You gotta respect
really long tongues.
Sure, he talks a big game, but The Critic already owns a couple of
Battlefield Earth action figures and is looking for one of the ships. He's
such a geek.
Directed By: Roger Christian
Starring: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, and a bunch of circus
freaks on stilts.