Battlefield Earth


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Battlefield Earth
"Travolta doesn't seem to care what this might do to his fan base."

Don't even think about questioning the credibility of this sci-fi romp. It is unadulterated rhubarb that looks quite expensive and is disproportionately violent for a 12-certificate.

The year is 3000. The world - our world - has been invaded, wrecked and colonised by eight foot tall aliens, who walk in slo-mo and treat endangered humans as "man animals".

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Those who are stationed on Earth call it "the ugliest craphole in the universe" and "a disgusting excuse for a planet." Why are they here? It's a mystery. They like gold for some reason and that's about it.

The story follows a stereotypical slave race rebellion scenario, where an agile country boy (Barry Pepper - the marksman from Saving Private Ryan) comes to what remains of a city and organises prisoners into a ragtag army. John Travolta, cleverly disguised as Head of Security, with platform boots and decayed teeth, thoroughly enjoys being bad. After all those movies playing the romantic lead - Michael and Pulp Fiction excluded - he lets himself rip as a creature from the black beyond. He doesn't seem to care what this might do to his fan base.

L Ron Hubbard wrote the book, which may explain Travolta's presence, since L Ron invented Scientology and John T is a loyal supporter Barry Pepper is the star of the film. He saves the world. As an actor, he equates seriousness with dedication and, even in the most extreme situations, won't allow himself the privilege of a giggle. Pity.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Slave rebellion... with added turkey.
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Director: Roger Christian

Writer: Corey Mandell, J D Shapiro, L Ron Hubbard

Starring: John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Richard Tyson

Year: 1999

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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