Battlefield Earth

Review Date:
Director: Roger Christian
Writer: Corey Mandell, J. David Shapiro
Producers: John Travolta, Elie Samaha, Jonathan Krane
John Travolta
Forest Whitaker
Barry Pepper
It is the year 3000, and our planet is being manhandled by evil Psychlos alien beings. Security chief Terl is the meanest sonnova-bitch of them all, ruling with his arrogance, power and blackmailing skills. It isn’t until a peasant man who goes by the name of Jonnie Goodboy Tyler takes a stand that the few surviving humans decide to rally in the hopes of defeating their gigantic oppressors.
Fun cheese. Despite starting off like a bad Star Trek episode, this film eventually graduates to a higher level with great special effects, some really slick bad-ass aliens, an intriguing premise and a good flow of loud, campy fun. Don’t bother seeing this movie if you’re expecting a film similar in nature to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. This one definitely asks that you bring along a bag of farfetchedness, with many of your likely questions relating to the plausibility of a handful of human beings fighting an entire alien race. But if you consider the pure arrogance of the Psychlos, and the way in which they underestimate and even misdiagnose many of the humans, it becomes a much easier pill of reasoning to swallow. I personally had very few issues with the story, which I found to be interesting and fast-paced enough to keep me entertained.

I had an initial problem with the alien beings, their accents and their exaggerated laughs, but all that seemed to disappear about 20 minutes into the film, as I got more and more used to their world. I also loved the fact that the aliens were some real bad muthas! I mean, these guys were nasty boogers! I dug on them completely, and was even rooting for them to stomp our dumb human asses…! Overall, the movie played like a 2-hour sci-fi comic book with many a loud bang, an overly obtrusive score, great scene transitions and some of the better special effects of the year. You truly felt like this was the end of the world as we knew it, and I certainly didn’t notice any part of my fair city of Montreal in any of the proceedings (the film was shot on location here). This film is not to be taken too seriously, with many melodramatic human moments sappy as hell (one scene seemed like a carbon copy of Mel Gibson’s infamous BRAVEHEART sequence “…fight for our freedom!). And I also could have done without the umpteen slo-mo shots of Barry Pepper running down Matrix-like hallways, but in the end, the film was fast, furious and just a good ol’ time at the theatres.

Now whether or not you end up liking the film, I think we can all agree that this is certainly an admirable turn for Travolta. Both he and Whitaker chew right into their dirty, grungy roles and truly become these unconscionable alien beings. So if you’re looking for a cool, mindless, special-effect laden film starring a couple of bad muthas, this puppy is made prime for you. This movie is loud, sorta campy, over-the-top and certainly not super-tight in narrative. But overall, the energy of the film is slated to “fun” and the last 20 minutes are especially wild. So don’t take it all so seriously and enjoy the ride!

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian