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 know, I was a little disappointed there was never a shot of surfers in the water watching the spaceships drop from the sky into the ocean, like in the poster. Instead, the film starts off introducing a bunch of U.S. Marines who will go on to save the day. There's SSgt. Michael Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) who has seen some hard combat in his 20 years and is ready to retire. There's 2nd Lt. William Martinez (Ramon Rodriguez) who is expecting a baby, has just graduated from officer training and is ready to lead a team. There's also your garden variety of stereotypical soldiers from the innocent newbie who might as well be wearing a red shirt to the bitter corporal who has it in for Nantz to the kick-ass chick soldier, who is, of course, played by Michelle Rodriguez.
The TV is blaring reports that a cluster of "meteors" are headed to Earth and that people on the coastline should evacuate. Then as they seemingly crash into the ocean, it's becomes very clear, very quickly these ain't no meteors but rather an alien force, intent on taking over our planet by using our water to fuel their machines. Nantz, Martinez and the rest of the unit are sent in, behind the enemy lines, to rescue some civilians caught there — and the film is off and running as the Marines encounter the "hostiles" and try to figure out the best way to kill them while making it back to safety.
Most of the actors are somewhat recognizable but instantly forgettable, except for Eckhart, who has the biggest profile. He growls a lot and says things like, "Don't you give up on me! We are going to make it!" You know, the typical war mumbo jumbo. Michael Pena and Bridget Moynahan play the civilians, trapped with kids in their care so there's THAT element to it as well. Seriously, every banal war/disaster trick in the book is at play in Battle: Los Angeles.
But the film's real draw is the action, not the actors. Helmed by Jonathan Liebesman, whose only other claim to fame is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, the camera takes on that documentary, Black Hawk Down quality, shaky as the soldiers run in and out of buildings and houses. There are a few intense and worthy action sequences, I will give you that, particularly one on a demolished freeway ramp. And the aliens are sort of a cross between the ones in Independence Day and Predator, making weird sounds so you know they are coming. But ultimately, Battle: Los Angeles just doesn't offer anything fresh or inventive in this nearly saturated genre. In fact, it made me want to see District 9 again.
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 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
A surprisingly good alien invasion flick. No dumb alien jokes or computer viruses like in Independence Day and a huge pat on the back for the U.S. Marine Corps make Battle: Los Angeles a solid entry into the alien invasion genre.