Battlefield Earth
Directed by Roger Christian
Written by Corey Mandell and J.D. Shapiro, from the novel by L. Ron Hubbard

Starring John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, Barry Pepper


Battlefield Earth

Here's the story, I think: The year is 3000, the planet is Earth and the other planet is Psychlo, and the Psychlos, ha ha, have long since conquered Earth in nine minutes flat and turned everyone left alive into man-animals, who seem to do scut-work when they're not being hunted down and killed by the Psychlos and their security chief John Travolta, until one man-animal, named Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, leads a revolt and whatever. Or I think that's the story, but you have to forgive me because I too am just a man-animal and don't have the brains of John Travolta and his right-hand Psychlo Forest Whitaker, who I hope got a lot of money for doing this film.

I believe, but don't hold me to this, that the film is set on both Earth and Psychlo, since Psychlo does get blown up near the end, after the Psychlos teach Jonnie (Barry Pepper) their language and technical secrets, for reasons that escape me now. However, everyone in the film, both man-and-woman-animal and Psychlo, does wear attractive hair extensions, though the effect is weakened by the sport shoelaces that everyone also has dangling from their nostrils, and something that confused me is that when the Psychlos wore the dangling shoelaces the man-animals didn't, and vice-versa. Go figure. I believe that the shoelaces have something to do with breathing in bad air, and maybe it was when they were on each others' planet, but I was so involved with the possibility that they were just snot strings that I wasn't paying attention.

At any rate, within seven days the man-animals travel to Denver to the library, to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where they read the Declaration of Independence, to Fort Knox to take out the gold that's evidently been there for a thousand years, and to Fort Hood, Texas, where on the seventh day they learn to fly Vertical-Takeoff-and-Landing jets, attack the Fleshlys, excuse me, the Psychlos, destroy the planet Psychlo and repopulate the earth. Is that great or what?

Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times calls this "...the most expensively mounted high school play of all time." I have to disagree. It is definitely a seventh-grade production.    

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