16 June 2005

'Battlefield Earth'

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Travolta gets to grips with his agent...

My Flabber has never been so thoroughly Ghasted by the medium of film.

A review followed by a challenge to you all:

......So. Despite my misgivings, my curiosity got the better of me and, last night whilst bored, discovered that the aforementioned movie was on ITV2.

Intrigued to see if it really was as bad as people have said I switched it on and settled down to have a good snigger.

The first half hour was pretty poor: Modern-day-American speaking primitives living in wooden squalor, riding horses and hooting at each other occasionally whilst regaling each other with horror stories of the 'demons' that come from the sky.

One of these modern primitives gets in a huff that everyone is so oppressed by the fear of said demons and the fact that people in his tribe keep disappearing, so he leaves the village and his bird and goes off for a trot on his horse, where he meets up with some members of another tribe who take him to a shopping mall.

The shopping mall is part of a ruined city - clearly earth (bearing in mind this is all new to our hero - despite it seemingly being just over the hill from his rustic abode) and whilst fannying around gibbering about 'the gods' and various other things, the 'demons' (read: aliens) appear, zap 'em and capture them all

It is at this point we discover the Aliens are seemingly all members of Sepultura and Gwar that have been put through some kind of 'bigulator' and then dressed by Vivienne Westwood.

They live in a vast dome constructed over Denver (the aliens cannot breathe the same air as us and the gravity is all wrong) and have enslaved hundreds of our hero's hairy chums.

John Travolta appears as the aliens' chief security officer and laughs menacingly a lot.

Now it is here that the experience of watching this movie stopped become slightly painful and more akin to how I had always imagined having a stroke to feel like.

I have never watched a movie with so many plot holes, inconsistencies and dreadful concepts as this rancid steaming pile. I will not bore you with all of the details, but here are the most salient points so as you may (hopefully) feel my pain:

* An extremely lame plot involving senates, alien profit margins and a gold stealing scam emerges, with JT as the ringleader.
* JT Decides he needs 'man animal' help to do it (mine the gold that is) and decides to teach our hero the alien language (via some kind of learning bukkake machines which spunks sparkling knowledge into the eyes of its target).
* When JT is happy that our hero can converse fluently in alien-speak, he reveals to him that the aliens - now known to be called 'Psychlons' (shudder) - invaded the planet 1000 years ago and defeated all the forces of earth in - now remember this, as it is an important point - 9 minutes.
* Our hero, now seemingly gone from caveman to genius in about 80 seconds starts casually wandering around the aliens' base with all of his captured mates, learning all about his hosts, then JT sees fit to take him to an old human library where he tells him to read some books for no apparent reason. A pristine tome containing 'The Declaration of Independence' (remember this book is more than a thousand years old) is the first and only thing he picks up and reads. (Bear in mind at this point no-one has taught him written English, and that the aliens do not speak it either.)
* Hero decides that him and his captured hairy chums can defeat the alien overlords if they Try Really Hard And Believe In Freedom. He rouses the rabble and starts to teach them all his new found knowledge.
* JT decides our hero should have a go in an alien flight simulator.
* When our man is proficient enough in flying alien spaceships, JT tells him and all his pals to go and mine him some gold from this mountain range and then come back so as he can be mean to them again and rub his hands with glee over a large pile of gold. If he doesn't come back, he will kill his bird who has turned up and now has an exploding collar on her.
* Our cunning hero instead teaches all his mates about alien technology, and how to kill the aliens with nuclear bombs. He then flies them all to some army base where they all get to have a go on a flight simulator (Earth was conquered 1000 years ago, remember - not quite sure how this stuff is quite so pristine, let alone working).
* They then fly to Fort Knox where they break in and steal lots of gold so as they can give JT his goods and still have time left to play in flight simulators.
* The hero and friends then find a bunch of machine guns, nuclear devices and lots of shiny-fuelled-and-ready-to-go Harrier jump-jets.
* Our plucky band then hatch their plan, attack the bad aliens with the harriers, blow most of their ships out of the sky, destroy their protective dome and teleport to the alien home planet with a nuclear bomb where (as it turns out) the air is allergic to nuclear bombs and makes the entire planet blow up when it is detonated. Please remember, these are the same aliens who 1000 years ago defeated the entire planet in 9 minutes and now have had their asses kicked by 8 Harriers and a handful of unwashed mangy humans.
* The earthlings are finally free of alien rule and can play on flight simulators any time they damn well please.


Apologies for the length of this but it is required to really get across the ineptitude and all round hatefulness of this film. If you have read this far, thank you.

Anyway, my point is that this is conclusively the worst film ever made. It has no excuses. It has no redeeming features. It fails to even be 'so bad that it is good'. It is just deeply, deeply, upsettingly poor. Surely the money that went into this movie could have been better spent on...well, just about anything really.

To sum up:

If 'Independence Day' (the movie, not the event ) contracted terminal amoebic dysentery, the final seeping, blood-and-mucus-ridden slime that slid out of its metaphorical anus just before it expired would be 'Battlefield Earth'.

My Challenge:

Find me a worse movie than this with full justification. You can't do it - it is impossible - but It would be good to see you try.


Review by The Groke


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