Movie Review: Battlefield Earth
by Billy, Oakwood High Scool, Toronto ON

Based on the almost thousand page book by science fiction mastermind L. Ron Hubbard, "Battlefield Earth" is another famous literary piece to make it to the silver screen.

The story is set one thousand years in the future where ‘humans are an endangered species' and a voracious species called the Psychlo have control over Earth. Jonnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper; Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile) leaves a secluded, mountainous human village to seek a better life for his people. Along his journey, Jonnie is interned by the Psychos to serve their mining operations. In his attempts to liberate himself, Jonnie encounters the Chief of SecurityJohn Travolta; Primary Colors, A Civil Action) and his lackey the Assistant Chief (Forest Whitaker; Light it Up, Phenomenon).

Twists of fate enable Tyler to lead his people to begin a resistance against the Psychlo's Trade Federation. But as they come to the realization time and time again, the Psychlo have much greater technology. The stakes increase as Chrissie (Sabine Karsenti; The Crow: Stairway To Heaven, Silent Hunter), Tyler's love interest, is put on the playing table. The Psychlo, in their arrogance, underestimate the power of the human spirit.

The project was filmed in the rugged landsapes of Northern Quebec with John Travolta, Jonathan Krane and Elie Samaha as producers. The beautiful scenery alongside the massive construction undertakings and models gave the film an immense grandeur and scale of a Terran wasteland.

Despite the direction of Academy Award-winner, Roger Christian, this motion picture has an awful and disjointed flow. The film has an unusual editing where constantly there are inappropriate and juvenile screen wipes alongside the repetitive and uninteresting slow-motion action scenes.

The plot treads along at a gruesome rate in this two-hour movie and despite that long duration, the story hardly goes anywhere. A viewer could walk into the theatre for the last thirty minutes and get the same fulfillment as if they have sat through full run of it.

The character development was non-existent and they seemed to never mesh. Empathy was hardly dispensed by the audience even through the most emotionally wrenching. The only joy shown is given when the film is over.

In the end, this Warner Brothers film certainly has excellent special effects but everything else is an irritating mess.

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