Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Roger Christian :: USA :: 2000 :: 1h56
The planet Earth has dominated by an alien race called the Psychlo’s for a 1000 years, who over-ran the planet to be able to mine it for gold. Tyler grows up far from all this, in the Rocky Mountains in a primitive tribe, when one day he sets out to discover the world. He is captured and enslaved by the Psychlo’s and set to work at their mining camp run by the corrupt alien Teri (John Travolta). Basically, Tyler rebels and frees the world from the evil aliens.
It is not easy to make the story more captivating, because it is not. Similarly, it would be impossible to convince you to watch this movie as it has already been near universally trashed by the critics and audiences alike, for just about every aspect of the project: the embarrassingly simple story, the plot errors, the silly dialogues, the unconvincing acting, the tilted filming, the bland colours, the unconvincing special effects… It’s all true. The movie smells of failure from beginning to end. By the time you see a primitive man learning to fly Harrier jets in a week (which incidentally were perfectly preserved after a millennium, just like books in a library…) there is not a shred of credibility left.
What attracted me to the film was the thought that a movie based on a book written by the Scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard could be completely without merit. After all, he did manage to convince a few million people around the world including the producer of this film – John Travolta. The movie was supposed to introduce the audience (a new generation) to the Hubbard’s writing, with potential new recruits for the school of Scientology. Considering the trouble he went through to get the project off the ground (piles of rejection letters), you would think the pressure to make something of it was enormous. At the time of promotion for this film (in 2000), Travolta was handing out signed copies of the book in bookstores instead of waving at movie fans in multiplex’s. The problem of course remained, that a lousy film does not encourage people to read the book, although, admittedly, it can only be better in this case.
Bear in mind that this (and the book) is pure science-fiction – it has no other pretensions. The route to Scientology would only be by the awakened curiosity about Hubbard, his writing and his teachings. But that will not happen after seeing this. If you are interested in learning about Scientology, then pick up a book on Dianetics. If, however, you want a Science fiction, then… watch Blade Runner, Dune or Solaris…