Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000 (2000) (part 7 of 10)
When I signed up to recap fifteen minutes of this fine film, I didn’t remember what was in this particular section. Imagine my delight to find that I’d gotten my favorite part. This is fifteen straight minutes of unadulterated, mindbending idiocy. There’s the flight simulator! And the atomic bomb! And, best of all, the Matter of the Golden Bars! Not since the heyday of Agatha Christie has such an ingenious scheme been hatched with such cunning attention to detail. This sequence is so devilishly clever that it practically took my breath away. (Sarcasm? Never heard of it!)
So, where were we? Ah, yes. Jonnie, Carlo and Mickey are in a Psychlo ship, setting off on the first stage of their mission, which is—as you may recall—getting the necessary equipment for the revolution, while also picking up enough gold to convince Terl they’ve been working in the mines the whole time. And if you’re wondering how they took off without anyone noticing, forget it; we’ve got bigger fish to fry.
At one point, Jonnie says they must be getting near Washington, D.C., but Mickey insists they haven’t left Colorado. You see, on the map, all of the states have lines around them, and the cavemen note they haven’t flown over any lines. Wow, look how confounding our society is to these primitive people of the future! It’s kind of up for grabs as to whether this scene was pitched at the level of “funny” or “golly, it really makes you think.” Me, I was wondering how someone could understand the concept of maps and still be totally baffled by political boundaries. I guess that’s why I’m not a bestselling sci-fi writer.
The guys decide that the state lines must have faded over time (sheesh), and Our Heroes set down in front of the ruined Capitol Building. Then they’re inside… uh, somewhere, looking at a map which helpfully shows which areas of the U.S. were irradiated by the Psychlo attack. You know, it’s just so inspiring that, during a planet-wide attack that lasted only nine minutes, someone was still able to assemble enough information and spare enough time to draw up and print out this map.
Jonnie explains that mankind has survived by living in these irradiated areas. The Psychlos can’t go there because the radiation interferes with their “breathing gas”, you see. Meanwhile, humans lived happily beneath clouds of radiation because… yeah. This script is airtight, let me tell you. By the way, banging your head on the coffee table hurts, but it does distract you from the movie pretty well.
They return to the gold mine. Jonnie and the Boys are huddled in a cave going over their strategy. The idea is to stage the revolt in Denver, so that all the Psychlos will move into their greenhouse dome to round the humans up. Then Carlo will blow up the dome so that the Psychlos will be poisoned by Earth’s atmosphere. This is confirmed by lines like “They won’t have breath masks on.” “They can’t breathe.” “They’ll all die.” Well, yeah, unless they carry breath masks around with them or something. But really, what are the odds?