Directed by Roger Christian.
Written by Corey Mandell and J.D. Shapiro.
Starring John Travolta, Barry Pepper and Forest Whitaker.
Release Year: 2000
Review Date: 5/28/00
After polishing off the third of three of
the finest glazed donuts money could buy this morning, I decided
that since I had nothing to do today I would go and finally check
out the much-maligned John Travolta film “Battlefield Earth.”
Besides, I figured, how bad could it possibly be? I've seen some
bad movies in my time and this can't be any worse than those.
Well, I was right and I was wrong. This
movie IS a piece of shit. But, it is not nearly as bad as many of
the articles I have read about this film. But, it has so many
problems that it makes you wonder whether Travolta will go ahead and
make the other two films in this planned trilogy or not.
Quickly, the plot: in the year 3000,
Earthlings are an endangered species because a race of aliens called
the Psychlo have almost wiped humankind out. The ones that are left
are mostly enslaved by the Psychlos in human processing centers
around the globe. At one processing center in Denver, Colorado,
Johnny Goodboy (Barry Pepper, probably wiping tears away at the
premiere of this movie) is not gonna take being somebody's bitch
anymore and decides to lead a revolt of the slaves against the
Psychlos there and their head of security, Terl (Travolta). Half of
the movie is your requisite prison film, and the second half is
“Independence Day” with more gunfire.
What the fuck was Travolta thinking when he
signed to do this movie? By playing the bad guy, he gets to play
his “Broken Arrow” character all over again, which is not a good
thing if you have seen that movie. And, it is based on the book by
L. Ron Hubbard and his whole Scientology agenda. Can the book be
this bad? I heard that it was a classic...but, I guess that is all
perspective. Travolta gets some of the worst lines ever written for
the screen, and the makeup job for his Terl character is awful. The
action scenes in the first 90 minutes are poorly done and the
special effects even look like they were shortchanged. And, the
plot...oh popi, the plot is horseshit. It just seemed like there
were a bunch of scenes thrown together and the
transitions—left-to-right wipes across the screen—were lifted right
out of the “Star Wars” trilogy. The director, Roger Christian,
might not want to quit his day job with a movie like this on his
Since none of you have nor will ever see
this movie, I will keep it brief. You could really do worse than
this film, but you would really have to try to do so. “Battlefield
Earth” has a decent last 15 minutes, with some of the
aforementioned-”Independence Day”-esque dogfighting sequences and
prison revolt scenes being reasonably watchable. And, Pepper does
an admirable job with a shitty role.
Now that you have read this, you should go
out and watch “Gladiator” as soon as possible.
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard