Friday, March 11, 2011

Battle: Los Angeles - Alien Invasion By The Numbers

Battle: Los Angeles - (2 Stars)
Going into "Battle: Los Angeles," I made sure to keep my expectations low. First of all, there hasn't been a whole lot of hype for the movie. Secondly, apart from Aaron Eckhart, there aren't too many well known people in it. Lastly, there are a lot of pretty decent alien invasion movies out there already, so, what could "Battle: Los Angeles" possibly add? Not much. In fact, the movie takes it cues from many other movies without adding anything to the genre itself.

Battle: Los AngelesAaron Eckhart plays Staff Sergeant Micheal Nance, who after 20 years of military service is finally ready for his retirement. However, when a series of unexplained meteors begin to fall outside major coastal cities around the world, he's called back in to service to help lead a platoon of young marines, albeit as second-in-command to a Lieutenant fresh out of the academy. Nance has some baggage and the movie does its best to try to give each marine some back story so we have an emotional connection when/if they don't survive the invasion. The only problem is that since they are all wearing uniforms, and everything was filmed with the "shaky cam," it's hard to keep track of who's alive and who's dying.

"Battle:LA" is definitely one of the louder movies I've been to in awhile. The movie is rife with gunshots, explosions and other loud noises. It didn't hurt my ears or anything like that, but it was noticeably noisy. The movie itself is a pretty basic invasion story mixed with a pretty basic military movie. Our group of marines are tasked with going to an arbitrary location. Once there, they are forced to hole up for a bit and then make their way back to safety before bombs drop. Along the way, some live and some die. But overall, nothing done in the movie is really original or stands out as being different from any number of other movies.

If you tend to enjoy action or military thrillers no matter how unoriginal the story is or how bad the dialog can be, you'll probably find "Battle: Los Angeles" at least enjoyable enough to watch once. If you are looking for a deeper, more original movie you're better off looking elsewhere. To me it seems that part of this movie was simply made for us to root for our home-grown marine heroes against an unnamed, unprovoked alien encroachment. In fact, many marines were present at the showing I attended. So, in some ways, I guess that's a positive. But overall, I just wasn't too thrilled with "Battle:Los Angeles."
(116 minutes - Rated PG-13 for sustained and intense sequences of war violence and destruction, and for language - 2011) (In theatres starting 3/11/11) (Netflix)

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