The planet is being bombarded by small meteors that are landing outside the beach coasts in the water. Military intelligence learns that the meteors are actually slowing down before impact. Minutes later various cities are being attacked with Los Angeles apparently taking the worst of it. A Marine unit is sent into Los Angeles to battle and rescue any civilians found on the scene. But what exactly are they up against?-summary
Battle: Los Angeles directed by Jonathan Liebesman was a movie that I actually made some type of effort to see in theaters during its 2011 release. I heard about the cliches, the aping of other movies, and I really didn't care about these complaints, since I have always been a fan of both war and alien invasion movies. For the most part, I did enjoy the movie because there were plenty of things Liebesman did very well, and I enjoyed it a little bit more on my recent rewatch.
The plot follows SSGT Michael Nantz played by Aaron Eckhart, and Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) as they take their platoon deep into enemy territory in battle torn Los Angeles. From there, they come into heavy resistance from an unknown, yet alien enemy that pours on some casualties; what soon begins is a fight for survival as they try and leave the battle area before a certain amount of time elapses.
I have a very soft spot for military movies because I spent more than 5 years of my life serving. Yes, I do search for some cool action, in which I did hope to find here, but I keep a sharp eye for certain details in military themed movies. I want to see the selfless service, duty to country, and sense of brotherhood that captures all it means to be a soldier or a Marine. I want to see people from many different backgrounds and races coming together to form one unit, one blood, and this is exactly what I got with this film. The characters were developed well enough to at least let the audience know that these were people with real lives, problems, and families to go back to. Liebesman did a fine enough job in this area.
I also feel he did an excellent job building up the threat and atmosphere. The first several minutes before you actually see the enemy is done very well, and the sense of confusion being attacked by an unknown threat felt real. I am aware that since this is an alien invasion movie, that it may seem as if I'm reaching for its good qualities, because in some folks eyes, these movies are seen as nothing more than mindless entertainment. Still, I commend the direction of this film because it did break from the usual formula in some way. My complaint to a certain degree is that it did abandon one genre cliche for other genre cliches, that did come off kind of cheesy and were even predictable. In any case, I can't say I completely disliked the script or direction.
While the set pieces have its moments of coolness and even a gritty atmosphere; I can't say that the action scenes truly roped me in. I'll point out one moment was very well written and tense, but I didn't care for all of the action since I wanted more gore. This is an alien invasion film after all, and it really wouldn't have hurt to give us action fans some really Starship Trooper-ish blood soaked moments: red, green, blue, or chocolate, it really wouldn't have mattered to me. I felt the gun-toting payoff was kind of weak, yo.
The aliens designs and equipment felt otherworldly, so props to that part. Eckert delivered a fine performance as the reluctant leader who suffered his share of losses, and the rest of the cast were OK at best. This is also one of the rare moments that the usual tomboy on the scene Michelle Rodriguez didn't make me cringe.
Battle: Los Angeles has its problems, with being too predictable and sporting its fair share of by the numbers play put on blast, yet on the flipside it does plenty of things right. I lightly recommend this movie to action fans, just don't come into this expecting extremely over the top action like in Starship Troopers. The movie has a 116 minute run time.
Pros: -Developed characters, uses its atmosphere well
Cons: -Predictable, it does feel formulaic, action scenes kind of lacking
Let’s get one thing straight: alien invasion movies are a dime-a-dozen these days, they’re the easiest way to make a quick buck. So if you’re going into “Battle: Los Angeles” with the usual expectations, you would be both right and wrong. This film by director Jonathan Liebesmann (Darkness Falls) is indeed a movie with extraterrestrials in it, but at heart, it is a war-military film that has the "staplings" of past war movies. I would say that it does try … more
Alien invasion films are a dime a dozen. They've been around forever it seems. From classics like the original War of the Worlds to mildly enjoyable films like Signs and a multitude of clunkers that include Tom Cruise's shot at War of the Worlds, there is an endless supply of "let's take over humanity" flicks. When I heard that Battle: Los Angeles was coming to the big screen, I was torn. Why? Because previews of the film … more
* out of **** Every year, dozens of mediocre action movies release. Given that I believe those dozens of action films to be mediocre, I am seldom impressed by the genre. With that being said, those films are decent; mediocre, if you may. Meanwhile, Jonathan Liebesman's "Battle: Las Angeles" is just plain bad. Why do people get paid to make movies like this one? They entertain a certain audience, sure. I get that. We all need to make money. But please...is … more
Was kind of bored to be honest. Never hard any wow moments. Some of the machines/weapons they use are pretty cool though. Some parts of it style wise reminded me of Killzone a little bit too. Should have waited to see this at the dollar movie .. ah well.
Battle: Los Angeles is only a mediocre addition to the alien invasion genre. Poor L.A., always getting beaten up either by weather anomalies (Day After Tomorrow), giant meteors (Deep Impact), the Mayan doomsday calendar (2012) – and yes, many alien invasions staking their claim on the City of Angels. Maybe L.A. is always a target in disaster films because, well, this is where films are made, so there's an affinity. Now count Battle: Los Angeles as one of them. You … more
BATTLE LOS ANGELES Written by Christopher Bertolini Directed by Jonathan Liebesman Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan and Michael Pena Announcer: One thing is clear; the world is at war. Director Jonathan Liebesman, the man who brought us DARKNESS FALLS and a TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE prequel, is about to make contact with his latest film, BATTLE LOS ANGELES. He drops his … more
War movies depicting a group of soldiers against overwhelming odds are nothing new. For generations, moviegoers have been treated to cinematic recreations as well as new scenarios of fighting units in combat. Usually these films follow a typical formula that includes the tough and gritty commanding officer, the naïve new soldier, the one with a woman and children waiting at home, and one who has difficulties with combat. In the new movie Battle: Los Angeles a new twist is given to the formulaic … more
There is something about invasion films that always seem to bring in scores of movie go-ers, regardless of the quality of the film.. Over the last few years we have had a few great alien invasion films like District 9 and even Cloverfield, if the handheld cinematography did not cause motion sickness; but we have also has some really bad invasion films, such as Skyline, which gave the appearance that it would be good though in reality, it had NO point). Two weeks ago I Am Number Four came out, and … more
Star Rating: Battle: Los Angeles is shot and edited in much the same way as a realistic war movie – quick cuts, shaky handheld cameras, moments of action so blurred that it’s next to impossible to tell who’s doing what to whom – and it aims to be emotionally draining as we watch scene after scene of death and destruction. It’s a visceral experience, one in which we’re made to feel immersed and vulnerable. These techniques … more
As soon as I saw the trailer for this film I became so excited. I thought this could be a really good mash-up between District 9 and Black Hawk Down. Well, my anticipation grew and my deception is simply huge. I don't even know what to think about this mess. What was the purpose of this movie? What did I just saw? Why the hell almost every time a movie like this comes out the trailer makes me loose my patience and become crazy about the project and after I see it I … more