The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

Battlefield Earth

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 movie.

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 ya go.

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, 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.

Editor's Note:

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.

Battlefield Earth
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: Roger Christian
Starring: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, and a bunch of circus freaks on stilts.

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