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Battlefield Earth: A Saga for the Year 3000

Human Rating: 2.5 / 5 Alien Rating: Crop Circle

Free the Earth!

Battlefield EarthNot many sci-fi movies set the story in the way Battlefield Earth does: the invasion already took place eons ago. Starring John Travolta, Barry Pepper and a cast of quality actors, the play is well portrayed to the screen.

The story is set a thousand years in the future, actually a thousand years after the Psychlos, a sadistic and dishonorable species, have conquered the planet. Human survivors have devolved to hunter-gatherer technological status and mainly serve as slaves for their master race. One human, recently captured from the wild, will come to learn the Psychlos language and technology and will try to shake people up into a rebellion.

An interesting side of the story is the corporate approach. Indeed, the idea that aliens own and operate their version of our modern corporations is refreshing. Except in the worlds of Star Trek and in Star Wars, alien profit-oriented economies are seldom addressed.

Battlefield EarthAs with many sci-fi action films, a downer with Battlefield Earth is the number of holes left bare for the audience to nitpick. Whether it be the fact that a bunch of uncivilized humans who can't spell their names learn how to fly Harrier jets in a week, ammunition and nukes that stood the test of time without servicing, mining-schemes that are half-researched, easy to break-in Fort Knox, some faults do give the movie rough and bulky edges. Add to that some nonessential, repetitive character-building scenes and you've got a story that could have used a little more polishing for anyone to cheer at the end and come out saying "Wow!"

Overall, Battlefield Earth is a reasonable summer movie. It is no Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), no Starship Troopers (1997) and no Contact (1997). What it is is a tamed down Independence Day (1996) with a dash of Soldier (1998). Good action and decent special effects will keep you entertained for the evening.

Review by René-Marc Simard.

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