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One of the greatest sci fi comedies ever made!
mstomaso7 February 2005
My spouse and I went to see this on opening night. We were expecting to see an extremely bad and costly film, and we were not really disappointed. It is a testament to John Travolta's genius that his career survived this disaster at all.

As they say, garbage-in, garbage out. Start with an L Ron Hubbard novel (your first mistake) featuring a completely plagiarized dark-skinned, war-like and hairy alien culture with wrinkly foreheads (if this sounds like Klingons to you, I thought so too!), and add unfortunate Barry "can't get a break" (or maybe it should be 'cant pick a script') Pepper and all you need is Travolta himself - playing the arrogant, merciless, slightly effeminate and quite under-sized leader of the alien colonists. Remove any hint of character development from the script and use the worst of the worst black box technobabble explanations for plot devices. Finally, stay true to the idiotic gibberish you based the film on in the first place, and you've got the makings of a rolling-on-the-floor comedy.

In fact, opening night, in a packed theater, people started laughing out loud about 20 minutes into the film and never really stopped. We had a great time that night. Halfway through the film more than half the crowd was actually interacting with the film, asking "Mr Worf, where's Commander Riker?" and asking troublesome questions about how many hundreds of years gas would remain viable in the gas-tank of a Harrier.

If you need to know about the plot - it's this simple - Earth has been conquered by an amazingly stupid group of Klingon-like aliens, and the remaining humans live in a large domed slave labor camp where they are taught that their sole purpose is servitude because they are stupid, weak, etc. Barry Pepper somehow becomes convinced that he's not born to be a slave, and learns to fly a harrier, etc. It's really not worth the effort of typing. There are a few not-so-subtle and not very original but good messages about ethnocentrism to be found here, but not much else. Some day when you need a good laugh, rent this or borrow it from your local bad film collector.
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A (nervous) breakdown of Battlefield earth **SPOILER WARNING**
The_Dead_See12 June 2000
Warning: Spoilers
3 seconds in: The title is cheesy green and beneath the words 'battlefield earth' is a subtitle: 'the saga of the year 3000'... Not an auspicious start!

3 minutes in: The camera is always on a tilt. It's like watching the old Batman TV show with Adam West. My neck is starting to ache already. My friend wonders aloud if they have put the film into the projector at a funny angle.

10 minutes in: That scene was ripped straight from bladerunner

11 minutes in: So was that one...

12 minutes in: Hey look the costumes are out of dune!

14 minutes in: Hey look the aliens look like klingons

15 minutes in: Hey! They speak like klingons too!

16 minutes in: Hey. The computer displays are out of predator!

17 minutes in: John travolta shows up. He's funny, it might start to pick up from here... maybe...?

20 mintues in... or maybe not.

30 minutes in: Why are these aliens so stupid! Let's not only leave our captive human slaves unattended but let's actually *inject* their brains with all the information about our race and then take them to the library and give them the declaration of independence to read. That won't make them dangerous or rebellious at all!

40 minutes in: Barry pepper does his oscar winning speech: "we will fight for our freedom, and we will win. Are you with me? ARE YOU WITH ME?" The Scots all shout "yes William, I guess we didn't get all dressed up for nothin"...

45 minutes in: John Travolta snarls "When we took over your planet all of the forces on earth put up a fight for a measly 9 minutes before they were defeated. There is nothing you can do to stop us!!!"...I'm left wondering if a race so stupid could have defeated mildly intelligent things like humans in 9 decades let alone 9 minutes.

55 minutes in: Why are the aliens after gold???? Why is this making no sense???

1 hour in: There hasn't been any middle setpiece yet. Actually nothing has happened at all.

1 hour 15 minutes: Did i just lose time? Was I asleep? Had I slept? what's happening? do I care?

1 hour 30 minutes: Maybe the middle set piece is just late... maybe one will come along in a minute?

1 hour 45 minutes: ... hmmm, maybe not.

1 hour 50 minutes: Oooo goody the humans have come up with a plan to get rid of these incredibly stupid alien's. Finally.

1 hour 51 minutes: Could you repeat the plan please? It made no sense and I think I might need to understand it so that the rest of the film is coherent?

1 hour 55 minutes: Cool, our heroes have found a hangar of fighter planes in Texas. The caveman humans learn to fly Harrier jump-jets in 6 days. Very impressive indeed!

1 hour 56 minutes: ...But since the Harriers have been sitting in a hangar for 1000 years how come they are still fully fueled and shiny with working weapons?? Never mind. I guess we're not supposed to notice that.

2 hours: Yayyy the fighting has begun! Ooo look, some pretty explosions. Cool - a building fell down! The humans are stopping to throw chairs through windows. That will defeat the aliens for sure!

2 hours 2 minutes: Hang on just one moment? Isn't this supposed to be BATTLEFIELD earth? There are about 15 humans and 10 aliens. Shouldn't they have called it 'slight scuffle earth' or 'schoolyard fight earth' instead?

2 hours 10 minutes: Please somebody kill me now.

2 hours 15 minutes: YAY! the head alien has managed to blow his entire race up by being really stupid.

2 hours 20 minutes: Where's the exit! Take me home please.
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Lives up to the Hype
on_the_can27 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Battlefield Earth has become something of a legend. It's the Holy Grail of Hollywood crap from the decade if not beyond and is quite possibly "that which we do not speak of" among scientologists. I was never one to pay much attention to critics, I always liked to watch and decide for myself but even I couldn't resist being strayed from any interest by the aura of disdain that surrounded this movie back in 2000. I was 16 then and any sci-fi adventure movie should've been worth a view, but not this one. Now, eleven years later I finally sat down to give it a shot and not only does it live up to it's reputation, it surpasses it.

I was expecting a bad a movie. I was expecting cheesy performances and a weak a script but I got so much more. Battlefield Earth is a garbled mess from start to finish. We begin, as you might have guessed, on earth. A tribe of caveman-esque people struggle to survive. They're warned of a beast that prowls the land just beyond the horizon and are told of demons that rule the planet. But one brave dude, played by Barry Pepper decides there's more out there worth seeing and sets out to prove it. That beast they're all scared of? That's a statue from a long since abandoned mini-golf course. And those demons they're always whining about? They're a race of aliens from the planet Psychlo that have enslaved the human populace. For you see this isn't earth billions of years ago but earth in the future where the humans are no longer the dominant lifeforce and it's been so long since they had any power they're not even aware of how badly they got screwed over. This might seem like a I just blew a twist for you...but nope...fear not. Because thanks to a lame subtitle at the opening we already know this is "A Saga of the Year 3000," and thanks to some other on screen text that we apparently needed we also already know that the human race is nearly extinct. Which basically means that if you actually managed to get to this movie without having seen any previews you still won't be in for any surprises. Because who wants to be surprised by a movie right? That would be stupid.

The basic idea behind this introduction to the world isn't actually bad, having us start on what seems like a primitive society and seeing the truth revealed in layers has been done before but it can be effective even in spite of those spoilerific titles at the beginning. The problem though is this information is thrown at us within about 15 minutes of screen time. The whole movie feels very rushed and none of the scenes have any room to breath and we're treated to the same split wipe transition every 5 minutes or so. I won't break down the plot any more than that because there's really no need...let's just say the badguys do some stuff, the goodguys get involved and they want to stop being slaves...because well, being a slave sucks.

The director seems determined to make this movie a visual feast but really doesn't know how. Every camera in the entire movie is tilted, which can make for an interesting shot, but when EVERY DAMN shot is done the same way it holds no artistic merit what so ever...instead it looks like they were working with a broken tripod. There's really nothing visually interesting about this movie at all except for the establishing shots of the planet Psychlo, which is only because they remind you of Blade Runner. In fact I'm pretty sure they just tinted a few shots from Blade Runner purple and cut them into this movie.

The aliens are essentially just people with dreadlocks and slightly bigger, hairier hands with an extra finger and apparently they're also really stupid. You see, they have access to all of Earth's history and the capability to learn how to decipher it but evidently nobody thought it was a good idea which is why they think the favorite meal of a human is uncooked rat, and they can't be sure of man's ability to fly without tossing them in the air as a test. To top it all off the alien performances are so goofy they lose all menace. John Travolta and Forest Whitaker have careers full of great performances but with this material they look like a High School theater troupe.

There might've actually be a decent story to be mined out of this mess but the people involved just weren't able to find it. I like to give credit where credit is due even in movie's I'm not fond of, it's not too often I find a movie with no redeeming qualities to be found but I'm afraid Battlefield Earth just made the list.
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Why no option to vote 0/10 ?
ozdavid8 September 2010
This movie makes you wonder why on IMDb we are forced to give a movie as dreadful as this a minimum of 1/10 when it quite rightly deserves a vote of 0/10.

In all my life I have never seen such rubbish!

The alleged "acting" unbelievable.

What was John Travolta thinking when he made this pile of ......... ?

All involved with this deserve to never be involved in the movie industry ever again.

The "story" is unfathomable (is that a word?) , made not the slightest sense from beginning to end. Have not had to sit through something so silly and boring in all my life. Even if you are offered to see this at no cost , just run for the exit!!!
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What were they thinking???
yulie-23 June 2001
Actually, was anyone involved with this total disaster thinking at all? My personal guess: no, and if they were, I'd rather not know about what.

None of the reviews have done BE justice. Having heard what a start to finish mess this was, my brother and I decided to watch it, just for fun. It was horrible beyond all our expectations - and not in a fun way. And so I can now tell anyone who's interested: You must see this movie yourself to realize the sheer magnitude of its badness, stupidity, and ineptitude.

I've heard that BE cost about 70 million dollars to make - though how anyone could have greenlighted it is a great mystery. Since there was nothing on screen to indicate why it had cost that much, my brother and I have also worked out how the budget was allocated:

* Travolta's salary, plus assorted managers and hangers on: 40 million.

* Special effects, film, sets, costumes, makeup and hair extensions: 25 million.

* all other salaries: $4,999,888.

* script: $112 and change.

Though that still doesn't begin to explain the end result. I give up. I'll never understand how Travolta managed to get BE made, or released, for that matter. Why is he tanking his career again? Who knows? After this, why should anyone care? Ah, well. I hope he finds something better to act in in the future; I honestly can't see how he could come up with something worse.

I never thought I'd give anything a 1, but this is indeed as worthy a candidate as I've ever seen. So, * is my vote, and I'd rate it lower if it were possible. Just... incredible. Watch and learn.
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Suspension of belief overload!
whstrock11 December 2004
This monster flop has an interesting story outline filled with garbage. The aliens have weaknesses that make even the non-rocket scientist in the audience wonder "how did these guys survive long enough to conquer anyone?" The next question I found myself asking is this, "How long would certain things (books, computer-dependent machinery, combustion engines) last and still be of any use to anyone?" Too many things you see in the movie are simply beyond belief. But this is science fiction you say? Of course. The point is that the basic story could have been told without any of these ridiculous questions bugging the viewer if the people making it had just thought things out for an hour or two. I understand that suspension of belief is a requirement of sci-fi fans but you have to limit it to just what is necessary to tell the story you are trying to tell.
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worst film i ever saw
pfig5 March 2005
the friend who lent me the DVD warned me, but it beat all my expectations of lowliness. this film is unspeakably bad. don't go and see it, take my word for it:

* it has no plot.

* the 'actors' suck huge rocks. really huge.

* travolta doesn't even try.

* the most elaborate dialog revolves around the sentence 'grumble mumble'.

* special effects are the worst ever, because they pretend to be serious.

* costumes and characterization make space: 1999 look excellent

i could go on and on and on, but i'm beginning to feel sick just for having to think about it.
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This Movie Is Painful To Watch
forrestwrs12 September 2010
This movie is a complete mess. Everything--EVERYTHING--about this movie sucks. The acting, the characters, the dialogue, the storyline, the camera angles, the tinted film, and even the very logic of it! If you want to teach someone about plot holes, pop Battlefield Earth into your DVD player. If you can find a copy; not too people have wanted to rent this movie, so copies of it are rare.

This movie is painful to watch. It hurts my eyes because everything is so tinted, it hurts my neck because everything is so angled, and it hurts my ears because the acting is so bad. Oh, and trying to figure out why someone thought this would make a good movie gave me a headache. All that being said, I cannot hate this film like some other movies, and I think it's because no one thinks it's good. I feel like it didn't do anything to me. I didn't see it in theatres and I didn't rent it, it just soaked up a couple hours of TV time. And, I have to admit, it was a lot of fun watching how gut-wrenchingly awful this movie could get.

And it got awful. People have called Plan 9 from Outer Space the worst movie of all time. I disagree. I firmly believe that Battlefield Earth is the worst movie of all time. It had a budget, so it had no excuse to be awful. This is the worst movie ever made. It's painful to watch, it makes no sense, and watching John Travolta, Barry Pepper, and Forest Whitaker act in this movie was like watching Goofy. Actually, I think I'd like to see a version where Goofy plays Terl.

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Whoever thought that making this movie was a good idea should be shot.
garyvanhorn11 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It was with a certain morbid curiosity and a near certainty that I would be seeing an awful movie that I rented Battlefield Earth, and I must say the movie exceeded all of my expectations, it is indeed exceptionally terrible. Upon finishing the film I immediately checked to see if Ed Wood had directed it, then I remembered he has been dead for some time, but no worries Roger Christian is here to take his place.

I'm not real sure where to begin because there is nothing good to start with and so much bad to describe, but I might as well start from the top. Earth has been taken over by an evil alien race that is scouring the universe for gold....yeah gold, don't know why but they want it. Earth has been occupied for a thousand years by these aliens and they are still here, searching for gold. They haven't bothered to raid the bank vaults of the world, they are too busy digging for the really, part of the plot later hinges on the humans finding and raiding Fort Knox to supply gold to the aliens to fool them into thinking the humans are mining when they are secretly planning a revolt....I'm not kidding, but that comes later.

The few remaining humans are savage tribal creatures scratching out a miserable existence as primitive hunter-gatherers. Later on they learn to fly Harrier jets and dogfight alien ships with only a few days of work, they must have been passing down fighter pilot lore for the last ten centuries or so. The main character, Jonnie Goodboy (Barry Pepper) and no I'm not making up that name either, leaves the safety of his tribe because he doesn't believe in the aliens and his dad has just died. His dad's death is very emotional, even though he never appears on camera, is never referred to ever again in the film, and the mourning lasts for about three seconds before the cut to the next scene. Anyway he gets captured by the aliens in a shopping mall and taken to their base. There follows a terrible scene where Jonnie Goodboy does battle with the alpha male in the prison population over who gets to eat first, Jonnie defeats him, and proclaims that everyone will eat at the same time from now on with thunderous cheers from the riff raff....pretty powerful stuff. I've already wasted a lot of time bashing this film so I'll just finish by saying that Jonnie Goodboy gets hooked up to a learning machine, becomes really educated, learns to fly, plans a revolt, does a little nuclear engineering, and blows up a planet. Pretty good for a guy whose most advanced tools were sticks and rocks earlier in the film. Oh one last thing, at least half the film is shot at a fifteen degree angle, we're not sure why, and once again slow motion doesn't make a bad scene better, it just makes it take longer.
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The new millennium's nominee for Worst Film of the Century
george.schmidt27 April 2004
BATTLEFIELD EARTH (2000) 1/2 * John Travolta, Barry Pepper, Forest Whitaker, Kim Coates, Richard Tyson, Sabine Karsenti, Michael MacRae, Michael Byrne, Sean Hewitt, Kelly Preston (unbilled cameo). My candidate for worst film for the new millennium: atrociously awful Travolta vehicle (who is totally to blame for his co-producing this pet project due to his Scientology ties) in bringing L. Ron Hubbard's cult sci-fi novel to fruition is just one God-forsaken mess from start to finish in what feels like the ultimate Ed Wood film with a dire need for the gang from MST3K to show up and provide apt ridicule: Travolta stars as 9 foot tall alien Terl, a Psychlo who commands his rampaging race in wiping out mankind in the year 3000 with only rebel Pepper out to thwart his nefarious plans of mining gold for his own just rewards. Ridiculous from the get go: the make-up of the Psychlos: a combination of dreadlocks a la Jar Jar Binks to the 'Coneheads' to the costume rejects of any speed metal band of the 1990s; the dim lighting and production design; the cheezy special effects (except for the climax of Terl's planet - who the HELL cares if I'm giving away the ending?!! IT SUCKS!!!) - which looked kinda cool!) and laugh-out loud dialogue: ('Rat-brains' is the often reviled retort by Terl to the 'man-animals' he despises). Travolta better get his mind straight because his post-'Pulp Fiction' comeback is running on jet vapors at this point and don't even get me started on his evil Vincent Price-inspired chortle! UGGGHH!!! (Dir: Roger Christian)
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The Battlefield of Shaker Heights
highclark14 January 2005
This movie should have been a 'Project Redlight'. John Travolta is out of his head and hopelessly devoted to L. Ron Hubbard. That he was able to con 10 other people into investing $80 million towards the making of this movie is the only real impressive angle I can work for this review. Perhaps Travolta wanted to work with Tarrantino again and thought the only way that that could happen is if his own career fell into the tank? Or perhaps he felt it was his duty to make the film in order to get a better seat in 'Dianetics Heaven'? Let's hope that Tom Cruise can learn from Barbarino's mistake.

I don't think it will matter too much to point out everything that is bad about this film, but the acting, the dialog, the special effects, the plausibility of the cave people's quick learning development, and of course, the hair extensions will just have to suffice.

I would have given the movie a 1 out 10 rating, but I did laugh at the movie quite a few times and that should be worth something, I think. The version I watched was on the USA network and it was modified for teevee, so I may have missed some key plot elements that were cut from the original vision of its director, but then again I may have seen some really good Levitra adds in its place. The end credits whizzed by so quickly that it would appear that no one really wanted to have anything to do with this movie except Travolta.

'In preparing a judgment of worth,

I proclaim this lame movie to be worst'

Don't forget that 'I told ya'

to blame John Travolta

and L. Ron for Battlefield Earth.

Oh, if it were only a musical. 2/10.

Clark Richards
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Plot holes like Swiss Cheese!
AshenGrey1 January 2011
Lemme get this straight: This is a post-apocalyptic film that takes place a thousand years after an alien race conquers Earth. Well, I noticed a few plot holes in this film.

-- After 1,000 years, there is apparently no linguistic drift whatsoever. Johnny Tyler can pick up a book published in the year 2001 and read it just fine. Let's see, the King James Bible was written only a few hundred years ago and is nearly unintelligible due to linguistic drift.

-- Books don't have thousand-year shelf lives. If you go to the Smithsonian, you'll find the curators go to extreme measures to protect documents that are only 200 years old.

-- Are we really supposed to believe that stone-age barbarians can learn to fly fighter jets in just one week? It takes professional pilots years of training.

-- Jet fuel does not remain stable for a thousand years. Most of the plastic components in the jest would have become brittle. The battery packs in the jets would have become unusable. The tires would have gone flat and the rubber would have disintegrated.

-- I seriously doubt that our planet actually has enough elemental Gold that a high-tech invading civilization would still be mining it after 1,000 years. They probably would have packed up long ago.
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Travolta will be back? Ha! That would be the day.
toygun_99930 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is so-awful that it defines a new genre. Not even a B,X,Y,Z, etc... movie-description would do it justice. This piece of garbage is a mesh-mash of illogical fallacies and utter stupidity that it can be considered a medication for depression; it's that laughable.

If the script writer instead of making the -rediculously looking- aliens interested in uranium instead of gold (which it has little utility outside of ornaments and jewelry) it may make half a sense.

Why the aliens need a "levarage" over an already subjugated and almost destroyed species anyway. The concept of the alien's social and economical system is totally absurd and it belongs to stone-age people not star-faring civilisation.

However, the highlight of the show is the ability of illiterate, demoralised and quasi-savage humans to muster and master flight and the use of advanced weaponry- let's forget the physical impossibility of 'how' the Harriers flew, just after common sense did that from the start of the 'movie'.

If you want a good laugh see this movie, otherwise...Well, you've been warned.
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Even on video a waste of money
arie_el_kanarie4 May 2001
I knew this movie was bad, filled with hard to believe nonsense and horrible 'go America go' propaganda; so I had to see it. However this was way beyond my imagination. After returning the video I honestly asked the clerk that even when I'm very drunk to stop me from renting this movie ever again. Hopefully he'll remember that. Although the movie starts funny as we can see Travolta and Whitaker argue in their silly suits about slaves, this quickly turns to boredom. The rest of the movie is the standard very bad, short on budget Si-fi that can't interest any viewer with an IQ above sea level at all. The horrible thing is that the director hasn't even tried to convince you as the main character suddenly learns geometry (ok) and teaches it to his barbarian mates (huh?) who immediately appreciate the essence of it all (they ate raw meat as they have just learned what fire is). But then suddenly the standard IQ of these people goes sky-high: They understand atom bombs, know how to fly a Mig and work with highly cryptic computer interfaces. Check out the fact that the main character discovers the national library and finds a crisp fresh version of the constitutional law (it has been in that very same destroyed library for almost 1000 years and doesn't show any signs of decay ?) At has been a long time since I cried....
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The Critics Are Right
Theo Robertson12 August 2002
What a bad film this is. I thought the critics were exaggerating when they said how bad it was but they weren`t BATTLEFIELD EARTH is one of the worst films released by a major Hollywood studio. It`s badly directed , badly cast ( Barry Pepper as Jonnie makes for one of the least impressive screen hero`s ever seen . Maybe Travolta should have stuck to his guns and played Jonnie . He perhaps would have been slightly too old for the part but at least he does have some charisma unlike Pepper) and has one of the worst scripts ever written. An alien race called Psychlos , sounds just like psychos , I bet they `re really evil and cruel . Oh they are evil and cruel just like psychos . Why do they think rats are the favourite food of humans when it`s the only thing they`ve seen humans eat ? And why do they think " Rat brains " is an insult to humans ? especially when they consider the " man animals " to be a primitive species . And am I alone in finding the term " Man animals " irritating ? Surely it should be " Manimals " ? A far sharper and clever expression . But sharp and clever is no way to describe this script . Cities stand almost intact after a thousand years since the collapse of human civilisation ! Not only that but so do large amounts of firearms , ammo and Harrier jump jets , and a flight simulator for the jump jets where the humans learn to fly within a week , and no doubt they`ll learn what petrol is and learn to put it in the jets in order to fly them . Does this sound very likely to you ? Let me put it this way: Go into a time machine and go back to the biblical times , capture a few dozen people , bring them back to the present and get them to become fighter pilots within the week. Do you think they`d be any good flying planes and shooting down enemy forces ? Me neither . Do you think they could overthrow a superior civilisation ? Me neither ? Do you think anyone involved with this film deserves to work again ? Me neither
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Things I learned while watching BATTLEFIELD EARTH...
mxlcn15 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
El Ron is a genius of Biblical proportions.

I learned the following: After mankind has descended into near extinction, he will begin to make animal sounds, grunting and what-not just as the apes do... or 'did'; however maintaining such catch phrases as "Piece of cake". Grunting is a universal language as well, just like English, which has survived 1000 years intact. Even the various tribes of man will speak the same dialect and have no trouble communicating and organizing a revolution. Grunting is instrumental in fooling your captors.

The only animal to survive the last thousand years besides humans are horses and rats, and the horses kept their saddles.

There is no humor in the future.

The only people who can survive an alien invasion and subsequent enslavement and/or isolation are Caucasian. Asians, Africans, Latinos and various others went extinct long ago. For some reason though, there are one or two in the movie without any explanation as to how they would come to be. There is no humor in the future. Those races do exist among the aliens, however; and as portrayed by Forest Whitaker, are complete morons and inferior to the Caucasians, and in his case, inferior to humans.

There are massive stores of gold in Washington D.C. close to where they keep the Harrier jets and suitcase nukes.

Euclidean Geometry is simple.

Having "leverage" over someone is everything. If you have "leverage" you can do whatever you like and they will stand dumbfounded while listening to you explain your "leverage" in great detail. Even if you show them your "leverage" and they threaten you with a beam weapon, they won't shoot because you have "leverage".

If you happen across a weapons warehouse, there will be power on to essential things like the flight simulator, the projector, and the nuclear weapons batteries will be fully charged and all futuristic looking. Be careful with the bomb though, the trigger is on the inside, somewhere around a fuse that says "warning"... (there is no humor in the future) but if you remove it you'll be fine for a few minutes; just enough time to show it to everyone.

Time and space are altered a bit; every now and then time will inexplicably slow down.

Sometimes the evil aliens race will use the beam gun, but most of the time they'll use the same gun to shoot a physical projectile. There seems to be no difference between the two, except for their marksmanship. When using the beam gun, they will hit you every time, you need not even try to run. When using the flash-bang weapon, they simply can't hit you; instead laying waste to your surroundings.

Anyone can fly a Harrier jet.

The glass that the aliens use for the dome appears to be almost a foot thick as it hits the ground, but this doesn't change the impact of a couple boxes of ammunition and explosives from causing a severe chain reaction when detonated from a central location on top of the dome. The dome will quite neatly implode and very little debris will actually hit the ground, just enough for dramatic effect. Time will be altered at these moments, so you can get a good look at how thick the glass is. There is no humor in the future.

I forgot to mention that when you implode the dome, various buildings will start blowing up... for no particular reason.

Blowing an aliens arm off will only perplex him and make him docile.

"Vaporize" means to kill or behead, and it's not funny because there is no humor in the future.

If you learn the alien language and you are the only human to do so, rest assured that humans have lost all intellectual curiosity and will never bother asking you what they are saying, or ask what you are discussing with them. They will stand by and seem content to let you handle everything.

When you blow up a massive planet, instead of turning into a star or imploding as you might expect, it will disintegrate completely. It's former mass will somehow alter space in such a way as to have no relativistic implications like causing a black hole or even leave debris.

Men will outnumber women some 10 to 1.

Batteries, fuel, and various other seemingly limited-shelf-life things - from our current understanding of them - will last several hundred or even thousands of years as long as they aren't used.

Because man is so primitive and needy, machismo is a thing of the past, so is humor. If there is a perceived leader, no one will question his authority. Not to mention, if you jokingly ask about his woman and where she might be, he will attack you. There is no humor in the future.

There is no humor in the future.

These are only a few of the things I became to know while viewing this masterpiece. No wonder Scientology is the greatest religion ever. One day I hope to be rich and famous so that I, too, can become a Scientologist. Once I am a Scientologist I will make movies about it. I will prove once and for all that all other "Science-Fiction" is nonsense, and incorporate everything I learned from L. Ron Hubbard into my movies which everyone will watch because I am famous. I will even act in these movies, I'd like to play the hero but if by the time I am rich and famous I am too old to do so... I'll just play the bad guy. Everyone will take me seriously because I am famous. When you are rich and famous it is implied that you are smart, therefore you are worthy of being listened to. Just look at Tom Cruise; he has plenty of "leverage".
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The Worst Sci-Fi film ever created
rorymacveigh18 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit, it was only recently I actually came across this film. The first clip I saw was the scene in the bar where John Travolta's character 'Terl' says his infamously cheesy "While you were still learning how to spell your name, I was being trained to conquer galaxies" line. The clip was on the YouTube video 100 top cheesiest quotes and at first I didn't recognise the fact that it was John Travolta giving this atrociously cheesy line and instead thought it was a secondary character or a comic relief, so I dug further in and decided to have a stab at watching this, hoping to God that it was what I had suspected. It was not, and in fact, it was much worse than that.

The main problems with this film can be summed up in a few words:

  • Everything...

The acting is an absolute joke, there's no character development, John Travolta makes himself out to be a complete doom-brain, the special effects have nothing special to them, the story is more convoluted and nonsensical than anything ever written and whatever's left of this steaming pile of mess is probably a joke as well. At first I had high expectations to this film, but turns out I was wrong on so many levels.

Let me elaborate on my above points, everyone in this movie (especially John Travolta) over acts their parts to the point of extremity, so much so that every scene is almost laughable. There is no character development, no proper run in as to he character's situation, you're just expected know before hand what is going on, which you can't because there's not enough of a back-story for you to build on. The special effects look like they were made on Flash Player 2004, the story makes no sense, with so many plot holes such as essential savages being able to learn in the window of a few days how to arm guns and fly Harrier Jump Jets, and how an entire Global Military force could not defeat the aliens yet 6 Harrier Jump Jets could take them down with ease. But this point is only trivial compared to some of the other points of idiotic interest you can pick out from this film. And probably my most irritating point is the fact that 99% of the shots are at an angle, which makes the movie almost unwatchable to begin with. Was the director's neck stuck at an angle so the only way he could tell what was going on was to have the camera's at an angle too? Really no need for it.

Overall, this was just a big waste of time and money that somehow made it into the cinemas. I mean, for what was supposed to be an overly serious movie about the last fight of Mankind against aliens, this actually seems pretty comical, I mean John Travolta is essentially a one man comedy show with his overacting, a real gem of cinema there folks!
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Bad direction, bad dialogue, an unimaginative and over-done look, laughable plot twists and a collection of average actors struggling to stay afloat amide all the nonsense
bob the moo19 September 2004
It is the year 3000. Many years have passed since the world was conquered by an evil race called the Psychlos in order that they would strip it of its resources just as they had countless other planets. Man has been forced back to the Stone Age, slowly dying out in small, ineffective pockets of resistance around the world. Sent out from his community, Jonnie Goodboy Tyler stumbles across two other survivors who tell him of a place of the gods – a place that turns out to be a former city. While resting overnight the group is come across by the Psychlos and both Jonnie and Carlo are captured. A plot by one of the Psychlos to outsmart his bosses (who have deserted him on earth by turning down his bid for a transfer) opens the door for Jonnie to learn a great deal about his new masters and gradually he becomes the last real hope for mankind.

Being a film critic must be a hard job to do at times. Many of the films you watch will not be brilliant, nor will they be terrible – most will be OK and nothing more. Therefore when reviewers get a chance to gush, they generally take it. Likewise, when a bad film does come to the big screen and reviewers get to see it, they often will take great pleasure in putting the boot it – we see it with at least one big budget film each year (2004 was Catwoman). So I usually will try and view a really panned film because I am aware that sometimes the critics are just being unfair – however, most of the time I'll wait until it comes to TV to make that decision. With Battlefield Earth, I must concede that it is a pretty bad film – but maybe not as bad as the many critics all said, although it would be easy to just keep kicking it in the same way as everyone else does.

The film does have some very basic ideas that offer potential but these are squandered with a script that bulks out with bad dialogue, poor story development and an overall poor delivery that makes it a film that is certainly a mess, if not 'the worst film of all time™'. The story quickly goes wrong by making massive plot jumps with its two threads (Jonnie and Terl) that it quickly becomes tiresome. It is not just that major parts of it make little sense (even if you are trying to get into it) it is also that the film makes it harder for itself by taking itself so seriously. If the film had been exciting and entertaining then I could have forgiven these jumps but the way it holds itself in such high regard means we have to meet it on its own terms – something that I found nigh on impossible to do with this. Whenever we are asked to accept that planes would have survived intact over 1000 years, or that anyone could learn to fly them in a matter of days then it is really asking too much if it also expects me to take it 100% seriously at the same time.

The film has clearly had money spent on it, and it isn't that the effects look bad, it is more that they feel over-designed. The Psychlos (cr*p name) look like nobody knew when to stop adding bits and they do look a bit absurd – like a Klingon but with more bits! Similarly the transport craft and alien sets all feel like somebody has just ripped off other films and then tried to combine them; the end result is the look of a cheap sci-fi that looks like it is a sci-fi film as opposed to a 'real' futuristic world. It is hard to describe and maybe I'm doing it badly but to me the film looked like the alien future's of a thousand sci-fi movies, not an alien future that exists outside of late night TV and, as such, it was even less engaging. Of course it didn't help that the direction was so ham fisted that Christian should be asked to return his Oscar out of good will. The opening action scene is delivered in a terrible slow motion that sucked all the potential out of it – a technique that is sadly used for most of the action scenes. The stuff with the harriers near the end is so silly that even a good director couldn't have saved it; but Christian is not a good director here and he makes it worse and robs it of any excitement or pace it may have had.

With such a poor product to sell to us, even an all star cast would have struggled – so imagine the trouble that one fading star and a collection of minor support actors have with it. Travolta tries hard but he can find nothing of value. He looks terrible and his performance is just so…obvious and easy – there is nothing to watch here, partly due to him but also to the wider failings of the film. Pepper was a very strange choice for such a big role and, try as he might, he cannot get past the absurdity of the whole thing and he comes across as part of the silliness, taking his character way too seriously for the material – but I suppose he was only matching the mood of the film. Whitaker has nothing to do and even an appearance from the likable, low-rent baddie Kim Coates brought nothing to the film. I don't even know the rest of the cast by name but suffice to say that none of them can do anything worth seeing.

Overall this is a very poor film and, although I don't wish to join the mob by just kicking it, I didn't find any reason not to. The direction is awful but is at its worst in the action scenes. The effects are not awful, they just feel like generic, overdone sci-fi fare with little or no imagination – a big surprise when you consider that the director was nominated for an Oscar for Alien and won one for Star Wars for the very discipline of art direction! The script is clunky and the story full of moments that are, at best, illogical and, at worst, silly, stupid and laughable. The end result is a product that is a real mess with almost nothing of value in it. It is relentlessly shoddy and I almost wish the 'worst film ever' hype would drop off just so that this film could slowly fade from our memory and be lost in time.
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Trashy sci-fi!
saullevy22 November 2010
I hadn't seen this one before yesterday. It is REALLY AWFUL! There is NO REALISM here. NONE! Why do all the ALEEUNS (!) look like rejects from some bad rock band?

Why do the ALEEUNS always treat humans as trash?

Oh, right, GOLD! The Universe is full of gold so there is no shortage. There was a nice pile at the end. What the ALEEUNS did with the gold I have no idea. I do have a hearing problem and may have missed some things.

Why the ALEEUNS built all those GLASS buildings I have no idea either. Seems like a lot of infrastructure just to mine gold.

After 1000 years those old planes and weapons would be junk!

This one is so bad, skip it altogether!
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I watched it in its entirety so you don't have to
DrLex8 August 2010
I originally wrote a review about this movie after only seeing parts of it. Since I figured that this was unfair and nobody should review a movie without watching it entirely, I forced myself to watch it. Oh boy. First, a summary of my old first review:

Battlefield Earth was on TV together with another movie that I wanted to watch. The description for both movies looked interesting, but after zapping regularly between the two, it seemed that BE was just horrible. Every time I switched back from the other movie, it was as if nothing had happened. All the scenes looked the same, the action scenes were bad, the dialogue was horrible, and for some reason the movie almost made me feel nauseous. It was like having those typical nightmares I often have when I have a fever, where everything repeats endlessly. So, eventually I stopped switching channels and watched the other movie.

Now, after having seen it in its entirety, I'm feeling relieved that the rating I originally gave was fully deserved. I rarely give a minimum score, but BE is a perfect example of rare awfulness: it gets a solid one.

The whole thing is just directed and produced horribly. Let me put this straight: the story on itself is preposterous — I'll come back to this later on. Yet, even a stupid story can make a thrilling movie, but Battlefield Earth is not an example of this. The action scenes are all awful: it's often impossible to see what happens. The film is full of slow-motion shots, but they are used at all the wrong moments. One would expect that close-ups and slow-motion would be used to focus on the action, but not here: the camera often seems to shy away from the actual action. Judging from the poor special effects that can sometimes be seen when the camera does show some action, they probably just avoided using SFX altogether. The pacing is also completely off: scenes just drag along, and are then followed by a pile-up of action. Some transitions are so abrupt that it seems like large parts were left on the cutting table, but even those parts that survived are all poorly directed. Most of the film is tinted in an exaggerated blue hue, which makes all those scenes look like the same scene all over again. The entire movie feels like an episode of a bad sci-fi TV show from around 1990, stretched to almost two hours.

Funny enough, I found a perfect explanation as to why Battlefield Earth made me nauseous the first time I watched it. There is almost NO scene in the ENTIRE movie where the camera is NOT tilted. Really, what were they thinking? It may look cool when used now and then, but it's just ridiculous if *every* shot is tilted at a random angle. Sometimes subsequent shot changes will make the image tilt from left to right and vice versa, so it is entirely possible that watching this film will induce seasickness. This is not the only thing about the camera-work that is awful: there is an overuse of close-ups, and often half of an actor's face is cut off (partially due to the tilting). Sometimes we also get close-ups of random objects as if they are of great significance, but they aren't.

The acting is bad, not abysmally bad but bad enough not to be able to compensate for the rest of the awfulness. Travolta does a decent job but fails to drag this film out of the abyss.

The special effects probably looked OK back in 2000, except for the 'blaster' shots which would only have managed to awe an audience in 1980. But even the other effects look very dated now, it's hard to believe that movies like The Matrix are even older than Battlefield Earth. There is an obvious reference to the 'falling through glass' scene from Blade Runner at the start of the movie, but it is filmed so poorly that it was more like an insult to BR than a homage.

Now, by far the worst thing about this movie is its plot. It's not just full of gaping holes, even with all the holes patched it still is an insult to viewers. Battlefield Earth is rated PG-13 but ironically enough, the only people who might appreciate it would be at most twelve years old because they might still be able to muster enough suspension of disbelief. The first two thirds of the film are not entirely ridiculous, and could have been saved by an awesome ending. However, the actual ending was ten times worse than the most preposterous thing I have ever seen in any other movie. Even the "nuking the fridge" scene from Indiana Jones 4 seemed plausible in comparison. Even though I rate Battlefield Earth a 1, meaning "never ever watch this", I would still recommend watching it if you want to see amazing stupidness. Mind that the rest of the movie will make you hurl, but if you enjoy laughing at ridiculousness that wants to take itself seriously, it could be worth it.

The only thing that is remotely OK is the musical score, but only when considered on its own. Some scenes where nothing of much importance happens are accompanied by music that would be appropriate during a frantic fighting scene. By the time the actual fighting begins, the music fails to add any tension no matter how thrilling it is.

Overall, Battlefield Earth is a complete failure, and it deserves to be in the Bottom 100.
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Don't waste your time watching this
adeewuff18 September 2002
When I orginally watched this film I was unaware of the Dianetic / Scientology background that surrounded this film and pretty much saw it from an neutral standpoint. The fact that after I had watched it I felt disgusted and frankly scared that a film like this could be made in the first place made me dig a little deeper into the films background.

After doing a bit of research I came to the scary conclusion that apparently this piece of cr*p that is this film is actually taken seriously by Scientologists, not unlike Christians with regard to the Bible.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, people actually believe this happened - the awful storyline, the 2D characters and the ludicrous mindbendingly stupid conclusion is taken as the word of god.

So now I feel terrified that this 'cult' has the influence to finance and convince Hollywood to waste so much money. I do have to say the Hollywood does produce some god awful flicks, but none so highly publicised or with such big names starring in them.

So avoid this like the plague, don't give distributors any excuse to produce anymore copies of this rubbish and don't waste another second of your life actually watching it.

I give it -10/10
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Wha? Huh...?
dontjuststareatiteatit23 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"We'll use this learning machine to learn how to fly!" Huh?

"If I die, this will be sent to home office." Wha?

Distmantling nuclear bombs from a manual... stored right next to the bomb. Huh?

Gold reserves kept inside Ft. Knox have gone undetected by an advance superior species, that desires nothing but gold, for 1000 years. Wha?

An alien species teaching their slaves microbiology. What was that?

Helicopters that have gone untouched for 1000 years have remained fully fueled. What the...?

Destroying an entire planet with one conventional warhead. Wha?

Battlefield Earth: A Saga for the year 3000... Huh?
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Don't ever watch this movie!
kurtschreiber9421 April 2011
This movie sucks. Trust me it is bad. The acting in this movie is terrible, the plot sucks, and the special effects look like Industrial Lights & Magics table scraps. This movie is also incredibly boring, and the main villains are incredibly stupid. They create their own downfall by teaching the humans how to fight them. What a bunch of idiots. To give you an idea of how boring this movie is, imagine a movie about Bruce Lee, Sylvester Stallone, and Chuck Norris filing their income taxes. Also every shot in this movie is at an angle and it makes you feel like you are on a sinking ship. DON'T EVER WATCH THIS MOVIE! It suck the life out of you.
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There aren't words for how terrible this is.
horrorflicklover16 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It's a movie that's so bad, it must be seen to be believed. But I don't recommend you do that. Not unless you're a glutton for punishment.

I'll just spend most of this review talking about the biggest plot holes and complete fallacies in this movie. Without even going in to detail regarding all of the terrible angle shots, bad directing and acting, ridiculous plot points. Let's pretend they were all good, and just focus on this movie's biggest problems. It would STILL be a horrible movie.

There's this bit about how the Psychlos took little time in destroying the world's militaries. Terl says that that when the initial invasion kicked off, ALL of the planet Earth's militaries lasted a total of nine minutes against the Psychlos. Nine whole minutes. Fast forward to present times, and all it takes is a few dozen primitive schlubs, a couple of weeks of fighter pilot training, and NOW the psychlos can be defeated? Does anyone else see a gigantic logical fallacy here? It is completely impossible to suspend disbelief enough to believe that even if they were to become extremely lazy and lax, that a military that absolutely decimated that of an entire planet's could succumb so easily to a bunch of humans who've been reduced to a medieval state. This is completely impossible to believe.

In "Independence Day" they at least ATTEMPTED to make it somewhat believable that a crash course in fighter jet training would work, as the pilots at the end of the movie had previous experience. Even THAT movie was far fetched. But unlike Battlefield Earth, it was still good enough in other areas to warrant a decent reception.

I also had a real problem with the bit about the nuclear device causing the ENTIRE planet to explode. It's also consistent with the fact that such a technologically advanced race had supposedly never harvested nuclear energy, and never saw any accidents or nuclear explosions from it. This is on the level of "Signs" stupid. Seriously, there needs to be some semblance of logic here. Neither "Battlefield Earth", nor "Signs" had any. However, unlike "Signs", "Battlefield Earth was rightfully panned.

But let's not forget the entire Fort Knox bit. Yes, a race of aliens who look to strip resources from the planet Earth, the MOST important resource of all being GOLD, didn't know about Fort Knox. Seriously? Assuming they didn't study the planet before they invaded, you mean to tell me that at no point in the Psychlo's reign of terror did it ever come out about Fort Knox? No terrified human ever let it slip? No documents revealing it's location ever surfaced? It's not as if Fort Knox is a gigantic secret among humans. Virtually every American knows that it's home to one of the largest gold depositories in the world. And yet at no point during this entire enslavement had it ever come out? I REFUSE to believe that a race of aliens whose biggest mission of all was the mining of gold would not have learned about Fort Knox one way or another. That it took years in to this broken future for the humans to finally reveal it. Again, no logic whatsoever. The complete impossibility to suspend disbelief.

There was potential here. But the execution was just awful. Good premise (potentially), but terrible script, direction, and too many plot holes. There's more than I even listed (like the part where they disarmed Terl, only to re-arm him moments later. UGH). This movie is AWFUL. Painfully awful. You'd have to really have a gonzo for some mindless sci-fi action sequences to want to watch this. In which case, you might as well just watch the last 20 minutes or so. But really, just avoid it altogether.
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Nyx_Selene19 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Where to begin... Should I start with rolling my eyes over the wide range of beginners' mistakes packed into the script? Or raging over the blunt plagiarizing of the Klingon look? Maybe laughing at the fact that someone obviously thought that an alien could be made menacing by giving it John Travolta's soft tenor. Somewhere along the line, I most definitely will have to pat the air force empathetically on the shoulder. Man, must they feel like idiots! All those years and years of training pilots, when all that was needed was a bunch of ignorant quasi-Neanderthals and some hours in a flight simulator...

I don't know which was the worst move; casting lead actor Barry Pepper, who probably can't even spell "charisma", trying to pass off "Dallas: Alien style" as sci-fi action, or actually financing this project. The script is on the same level as the stuff I wrote when I was ten, and I think that someone should have noticed that. The mere thought that we're supposed to take even some part of this movie seriously is insulting.

They name the movie "Battlefield Earth" and then make it mostly about alien Terl's attempts at getting a promotion. Alien Terl from a race that is, incidentally, so stupid I'm surprised they manage to get dressed in the morning. Instead of killing a rebellious slave, the aliens decide to teach him their language. How? By pumping him full of human history and science, and then letting him read up on the missing bits. That should be harmless enough, right? It's not like knowledge ever gave anyone power. And why would even more slaves want to rebel? But then again, how were the aliens supposed to know that the group of stick-wielding, superstitious, grunting cave men knew how to fuel, prep, arm and fly Harriers? That was just pure bad luck. (Also, having fighter jets that are evidently perpetually dusted off and refueled in a hanger that is perpetually powered by... the gods, or... or something? That's clearly cheating.)

In the end, there's really only one reason to watch this, and that's if you're a person planning on writing your own sci-fi or other story, and wants advice on what not to do. This movie's full of examples.

Though it can probably be used as a means of torture too...
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