If I drank every time a Dutch angle was used in this film, I would be drunk by minute twenty.
I don’t think I’ve ever watched a film so awful in my entire life. And that’s saying something because the last film I watched for this series was Super Mario Bros.
The film Battlefield Earth is based on the L Ron Hubbard novel of the same name. Because of course it is. Actually, the entire title for the film is Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000. Unfortunately, this film depicts the year 3000 as not even close to the way the Jonas Brothers described it.
It’s very clear right from the beginning that this film was a passion project for John Travolta. He does some of his worst acting in this film, and yet, it’s clear in his performance that he thinks this film is going to be a science fiction game changer.
Turns out that this two hour film is only the first half of L Ron Hubbard’s book. And, Travolta, anticipating the film being an absolute hit, had planned a sequel and an animated cartoon series. You know, watching this film, I kind of get a better idea of how Travolta got into this religious cult in the first place. Battlefield Earth is only the first half of this 1,000 page book, and yet there is so much filler in this film. So many scenes seem to be completely unnecessary.
The estimated budget for Battlefield Earth was $75,000,000 and, yet, the effects in this film rival that of a Syfy original movie. The film looks like it was edited in iMovie and used the oldest version possible of Adobe After Effects. The only real explanation that I have is that a ton of money was funnelled into scientology.
Directed by Roger Christian, Battlefield Earth is easily one of the worst shot films in ALL of film history. And, I’m including home movies made by middle schoolers. I already mentioned that Dutch angles are used excessively. Colored filters are also used excessively, which is just baffling, because I’m sure if given a little more money, the Director of Photography could have made the film at least look nice. Instead, Christian made the decision to use color filters and Dutch angles because he wanted the film to look like a comic book…
Honestly, this film is just baffling. The amount of inconsistencies in the writing are astounding. The film simultaneously tells you too much and too little while not following its own logic. Everybody’s acting is bad (poor Forest Whitaker, being roped into this somehow), but Travolta’s is particularly bad. I think because he seems to be so confident in his performance. Oh, and to make that even better, it’s rumoured that, while on set, Travolta took so much inspiration from Predator that he would only speak with the Predator’s growl. All his dialogue had to be re-recorded in post. The music’s abrupt change from “science fiction” to “triumphant war film” (or National Treasure), was absurd. The alien race being named Psychlo’s is infuriating, solely because the only assumption I can make is that L Ron Hubbard named them that because of his hatred of psychologists and psychiatrists. Because, you know, they’d help people realize they’re in a cult.
God. I hate this stupid movie.