Battlefield Earth

Post-Apocalyptic Setting: 5/10

Make-Up/Costumes: 5/10

Believable Ending: 2/10

When I was a child I was a big fan of John Travolta.  I loved the movies “Grease”, “Look Who’s Talking”, and “Staying Alive”.  But somewhere along the line John Travolta disappeared, and stayed missing until resurrected by “Pulp Fiction”.  He then graced us with a few more films, before talking another one of his career hibernations. “Battlefield Earth” was to be his second resurrection film, but as it made its way to this blog, I’m sure you can tell it didn’t quite get the job done.

The human race is an endangered species.  There.  That’s how we start off.  Did we finally mess up the planet enough to ensure our species failed?  Did a nuclear holocaust wipe most of us out?  No!  Some species of really tall, barbaric,and advanced aliens came down and wiped out all of Earth’s defenses in 9 minutes(I listen to songs longer than that).  The human race, which will hereafter be referred to “man-animals”, becomes slaves and livestock to our new alien overlords.  Things look not so great.

After hundreds of years, the human population reverts back to its only logical humble beginnings, the caveman.  With talk of great spirits and demons, most humans don’t know what’s up with the planet anymore, and apparently only wander a mile from camp at best(any more and it would be hard to miss the giant alien bases set up).  But one of the man-animals won’t buy into this demon business, and sets out to seek a better life…right up until he gets captured and made into a slave.  This is where John Travolta enters, as apparently the most human looking alien of the lot.  But he is not to be trifled with as the head of security!

Travolta has one weakness, though, and it seems out of all the elements in the entire universe, its gold.  Mining is tough work,though, so Travolta hatches a plan to train man-animals(unheard of!!) to use machines to mine the gold for him.  Luckily for him, and the human race incidentally, there is a machine that can blast knowledge into the brain and quickly change an idiot into an Einstein.  What could be the harm in putting a man-animal into that machine to learn a few things about mining?  It’s not like he’ll learn how to use alien technology and lead a rebellion with the few remaining man-animals against the much touted Psychlo civilization, right?  It’s not like a society of cavemen could master the bombs and war machines from 1000 years ago that are lying around in the rubble that was once the world and use it to try to free themselves.  And it’s especially unlikely that they could do it all in less than 2 weeks.  That’s right, 2 weeks.

So....they are Klingons, right?

For my money, the best scene was a hilarious moment when Travolta, trying to discover the man-animals favorite food for bribing purposes, starves them and sets them free.  In desperation, the find some rats and have to eat them raw for lack of fire-building supplies.  Thinking his plan is a roaring success, Travolta makes rat references the rest of the film, and never figures out why he’s an idiot.

If you are going to say that an alien race is superior enough to wipe out the human race in 9 minutes, here is a list of criteria for your alien race:

They should be at least as intelligent as humans.

They should not have a home world that can be destroyed by a single bomb.

The air they breath should not be super-flammable.

They should develop some kind of shields instead of glass.

Their surveillance equipment should be a little more advanced than security cameras.  That’s right, plain-jane good ol’ security cameras.

Finally, they should not give the human race every opportunity possible to learn everything about their technology, and enough free time to master it.

But hey, in all fairness,maybe after a 1000 years they just got lazy and careless.  It happens to the best of us, so why not the best of them.  To bad this movie ended like your career, Travolta….a ball of flames and a sunset…..

Thank you to the lovely Michele, author of the new release blog “If You Watch It, They Will Barf” ,, for this suggestion.  Post-apocalyptic movies are among my most beloved types!  Keep those suggestions coming, guys and gals!

This entry was posted in IMDB Top 100 Worst Movies, Movie Review and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Battlefield Earth

  1. Jesse says:

    I have to agree with you on this one. This has always been my movie of choice when I am trying to describe something horrible.

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