Australian Critics of Scientology
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Battlefield Earth - Reviewed by David Stratton

Broadcast October 2000

Margaret [1/2 star]

David [0 stars]

Yes, it's one of those films where villains utter a puerile line and then throw their heads back and guffaw phonily ... It's the year 3000 and earth has been colonised by creatures from the planet Psychlo, Terl (John Travolta) is the Security Chief in charge of mining operations ... Ker, Forrest Whitaker is his henchman. Humans live a meagre feral existence. There has to be something better than this figures our hero, Johnnie Goodboy Tyler (Barry Pepper) and so he sets off into the unknown, gathers a few mates on the way and ends up in the ruins of Denver where he falls into the clutches of Terl ...

This film is a new low for Travolta - he was also the co-producer - his accent, his outfit, his performance all combine to undermine any serious consideration of his bad-guy Terl and Forest Whitaker doesn't fare any better. The screenplay, based on a long pulp sci-fi novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, is just plain dumb or unintelligible, the hero completely uncharismatic, the cinematography irritating and the direction by the undistinguished Roger Christian cliche-ridden. From any angle this is a very ill-considered project ... an obvious contender for worst film of the year.

[Scientology in electronic media in Australia]