Battlefield Earth (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
Robbins report: "Independence Day" meets
"Planet of the Apes".
It's the year 3000, and Earthlings have been driven back to the stone age by their conquerors from the planet Psychlo. The few remaining earthlings are either living as savages in the mountains, or working as slave laborers for their conquerors, headed up by John Travolta as the head of security. Amazingly enough, things have held up well on earth. After a thousand years, some cars still have a decent paint job, proving that that 99 bucks at Earl Schieb is well worth it. And books are still in pretty good shape, better than the ones my mom had from her college days. And a flight simulator is in perfect working condition. I wonder what it uses for power.
|The Psychlos, however, have made a big mistake in their domination plan. They have a special machine that dispenses an education instantly, the machine also works on earthlings, and one of the savages manages to use it to accelerate from the Stone Age to a point of equality with the Psychlos.||
Pepper manages to defeat the Psychlos pretty much
single-handedly, even though the baddies rule the entire
universe and originally defeated the combined military
forces of earth in nine minutes. You see, the Psychlos
have a weakness. They are strong, and advanced, but
endlessly scheming, and Travolta is the biggest schemer
of all. Their entire psychology is dominated by a greed
for profit, and the only thing they like more than honest
profit is profit earned through treachery. They're kind
of like Republicans with really long nose hair.
This is the worst-reviewed movie in the internet age, but I've seen many much worse. Of course, they didn't cost $73 million.
Because of the camp value, I have to say that this movie is underrated. Let me make this clearer, because it sounds like I'm praising it, and I should state explicitly that it completely stinks, and it's a total waste of $73 million. The plot makes no sense at all, the parts that follow sequentially are implausible, the scenes with the humans by themselves are unsalvageably bad, and the music is laughable.
On the other hand, the special effects are at least average. Some visuals are pretty good (the men held in the zoo comes to mind), although almost every notable scene was ripped from some earlier film.
What makes this film better than "I Dreamed of Africa" or "Autumn in New York" is that the sense of high camp in Travolta's ludicrous performance gave it a lot of laughs.
|I like Travolta in the
movie. He brought a whole new dimension to alien bad
guys. He is evil and soulless, to be sure, but he's not
invincible and unknowable like a Darth Vader character.
In fact, he's immature, whiny, sneaky, arrogant,
conniving, and has a cruel but sometimes on-target sense
of humor. Travolta plays the entire role like a smart but
condescending 22 year old preppie who has been denied his
rightful place at the head of daddy's firm, for reasons
obvious to everyone but him. Travolta assays this role
with campy glee, turning his character into Joan Collins
in a nighttime Soap Opera, with almost as much makeup as
Miss Collins would normally employ.
If the movie had starred Richard Gere instead of Travolta, it would be as bad as everyone said, but it isn't. Travolta clearly created this farcical, whiny, over-the-top characterization on purpose, and it works in a lot of ways. It's the only humans vs monsters movie I can think of where the monsters are more interesting than the humans, and maybe that's why people hated it so much.
The rest of the movie is just unredeemedly dumb and boring, and while dumb can be fun, there is no cure for boring, so it's unwatchable when Travolta is off-camera.
But when he's on, it can be hilarious.
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