Battlefield Earth (2000): It’s Still Terrible and Awesome – Review

Battlefield Earth (2000): It’s Still Terrible and Awesome – Review

A New Wave of Cinematic Achievement:

Ah, “Battlefield Earth,” that iconic gem from the dawn of the new millennium. Just when you thought films had reached their peak in the ’90s with masterpieces like “Titanic” and “The Matrix,” along comes this little number to redefine… something. It’s unclear exactly what, but it definitely made an impression.

Dreadlocks and Tilted Angles – The Future of Filmmaking

Set in the year 3000 (because why not?), the Earth is now essentially a giant hair salon gone wrong. The dominant species, the Psychlos, clearly went all-in on the dreadlock trend, making the rest of us wonder if we missed out on some galactic memo. And in this hair-centric future, our protagonist Jonnie, played by Barry Pepper, is set to challenge the mighty and… enigmatic, Terl, brought to life by none other than John Travolta. Travolta, in his decision to embrace the role, leaves behind the dance floors of “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” to don some impressive platform shoes and the most mesmerizing set of dreads. A daring fashion choice.

John Travolta Thought He Was Making the Next Star Wars

Dizzying Heights of Camera Angles

Director Roger Christian seemed to have discovered the ’tilt’ function on his camera and thought, “This is it. This is avant-garde.” Every other scene feels like you’re aboard a sinking ship, clinging on for dear life. A unique choice, making audiences wonder if they’d accidentally walked into a 3D screening without the glasses.

Behind the… Genius?

Produced and partially written by Travolta, a known Scientologist, “Battlefield Earth” is based on L. Ron Hubbard’s novel of the same name. With a budget that would make some small countries blush, one would expect cinematic gold. Instead, critics had a field day with their own sport: creatively bashing the movie. It’s worth noting that this film wasn’t just panned by critics, it was roasted, toasted, and served on a silver platter. Words like “disaster” and “trainwreck” were thrown around, but isn’t that just code for “misunderstood genius”?

Special Effects – An Ode to Vintage Gaming

A nod must be given to the special effects team who seemed to be channeling the energy of early 2000s video games. The Psychlo’s home planet, in particular, feels like it’s one power-up away from a “Super Mario” level. An obvious homage to the classics, surely.

The Real Triumph

Beyond the tilted angles, past the perplexing plot, and miles away from the dreadlock extravaganza, the real triumph is how “Battlefield Earth” brought people together. Film students, critics, and general audiences united in their collective befuddlement, proving that cinema has the power to unify.

In a landscape of films that often play it safe, “Battlefield Earth” swung for the fences. Did it miss? Maybe. But it swung with such confidence, gusto, and a bewildering sense of self-belief that you can’t help but give it a begrudging slow clap. Or at least a smirk.

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