Battle Los Angeles Movie Review

Battle Los Angeles Movie Review


Jonathan Liesbesman’s new movie, “Battle Los Angeles,” is all about an alien attack – an alien attack on Santa Monica to be exact. Movie forums are calling it a “sci-fi war film.” It’s full of effects, and filmed in a documentary/drama/action/fantasy style. It’s a cheaply made new movie release starring Aaron Eckhart in which a few American soldiers battle it out with the aforementioned aliens. It’s kind of someplace between “Black Hawk Down” and “War of the Worlds.” The movie trailer promises more than “Battle Los Angles” delivers. It has some great shots of mass destruction and some ridiculous military type dialogue – so much so that audiences are going to know pretty quickly that there isn’t much hope for creativity in this movie picture. There will most probably be a good box office as the movie will be a draw to men and the box office will then drop off quickly.

Apparently director Liebesman, known for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” thought that shooting the whole film with a shaky camera would give it immediacy and a documentary style. What it does is make it look more like a bad TV show.

Chris Bertolini, known for “The General’s Daughter,” wrote the cliché-ridden script of “Battle Los Angeles.” It’s all delivered seriously but with a very slight change in tone, this movie could stand out as a parody of all pictures that feature alien visitation.

It turns out that aliens have invaded cities all over the world, among them Los Angeles, so helicopters packed with Marines from Camp Pendleton head out for Santa Monica, where the beachfront is being taken over by aliens that look like Transformer toys but possess remarkable military might.

The leader of the marines is Eckhart, who is just about to retire but is now the leader of a rainbow platoon that’s going to force its way through the destruction from a base at Santa Monica’s airport, to a police station to rescue civilians. The deal is that they have to do it in three hours or a bomb will fall.

Now a whole lot of the action takes place indoors. At this point viewers know that there’s no suspense, mystery, or awe in this movie. It’s unfortunate that all it does is show a few kids being saved and glorify the military.

As in all military movies, every solider has a trait that identifies him. In this movie there’s a virgin, a doctor from Nigeria, and a lieutenant who’s never led men before. Two actors, Ramon Rodriquez, who plays an insecure tyro officer, and Michelle Rodriquez, who is an Air Force sergeant, get better screen time than the rest of the crew. They may have done even better if the movie wasn’t trying to keep its PG-13 by not using too many bad words.

There are some good moments in “Battle Los Angeles.” Most are brief looks at the devastation wrought by aliens. The aliens are huge, metal, and make gurgly noises. The devastation shown in the movie is nowhere as bad as the scenes in the recent movie, “2012.”


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