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Battlefield Earth

reviewed by Vivian Rose, age 15, from US


"Battlefield Earth" is a silly sci-fi movie that rips off several more credible films. The story takes place in the year 3000 (at least everyone stopped making "year 2000" movies). John Travolta plays a Psychlo (an alien from the planet Psychlo) who is stuck on Earth. His job is to supervise the mining of Earth's metals. But Psychlo workers cost money, so Travolta comes up with an evil plan: Catch some Man-Animals (what Psychlos call humans) and train them to do the work. Perhaps they can help him mine some gold for himself, thus stealing from the company and making him richer. (By this time, Travolta is pretty angry with the company for refusing to give him a better job.)

Travolta is a terrific actor, and the supporting cast is sound, but "Battlefield Earth" is still a cosmic mess. The dialogue might be amusing if not for the distraction of those ridiculous settings and costumes. The Psychlos look just like Klingons from "Star Trek". They drink bright green "alien" brew that looks suspiciously like Mountain Dew. They're also sexist pigs. Humans, on the other hand, have regressed back to the caveman stage. They have no technology; they get around on horses. Only one human thinks he can defeat the Psychlos.

I briefly considered reading the book "Battlefield Earth" before viewing the movie. When I realized that the small-print paperback version was more than a thousand pages long, I quickly gave up on that idea. I did read the first page, then I decided I'd never get through the rest of it. I like science fiction stories if they make sense, but "Battlefield Earth" doesn't. I only saw this movie because John Travolta was in it, and I was still sorely disappointed. If you managed to read that huge book and enjoyed it, you might like "Battlefield Earth". Otherwise, I don't recommend this movie.

Rated PG-13 for violent content

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