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 it too much to ask for a bit of, oh you know, effort? "Battle: LA" just doesn't know the meaning of the word. I know people who think it's "not that bad". Well, I'm here to tell you that in my honest opinion, it is not that bad; it's all bad. This movie, quite frankly, sucks.
The film takes a rather unoriginal approach to its beginning scenes. It begins by showing hand-held footage of the alien invasion, and then shifts to twenty four hours before. This is where we meet the marines who descend into battlefield hell. One of them is Michael Nance (Aaron Eckhart); a friendly, determined, self-aware soldier who would willingly fight anything to save his country, his city (or Las Angeles), or his world.
This is why, when an alien invasion ensues, Michael is ready to fight until the end. And yes, he never dies. The film attempts to develop its marine characters, although the development comes off as shallow and even rushed. The rest of the film is pure cheese. It's all a bunch of explosions, a lot of noise, and a lot of bad CGI aliens.
There is little plot involved. Some people believe that there is some emotional value to be found in the product, but damn; I couldn't disagree more. What happened here is deception. The sentimentality or melodrama could be confused with real emotions, and that might just be the case. This makes the film a difficult, overlong sit-through; a bland genre picture that lacks any value pertaining to intellect or cinematic technique. It's unoriginal, laughable, and stupid. We don't give a damn about the characters, and by the half-way point, we just want it all to end.
The last time I saw an alien invasion movie this bad was when I saw "Skyline". Now, that film was even worse than "Battle: LA", but that doesn't mean this little flick is any more bearable. Honestly, what makes it decent? What makes it entertaining? The aliens mean nothing, they are poorly designed, and the CGI work is absolutely horrendous. They are not characters; they are merely savage aliens that want to harvest us. At least men like Spielberg were able to show us that maybe that's not all there is to aliens. Maybe they have human values and emotions too. But this movie could care less.
Aaron Eckhart isn't all that bad in his role, but he lacks the ability to inspire sympathy or care all-together. His character is thin as paper. Yet, Eckhart is an accomplished actor; he has been in good movies, in good roles. So why is he working with Liebesman, who hasn't made a good film in his entire life? Liebesman got a good break when he made this horrendous mistake of a movie, although I hope he knows how uninventive he is. He uses the shaky-cam excessively, as if he's freakin' married to it. The film is both a disaster narratively and emotionally. Nothing can save it, and it is one of the worst films of 2011. And there will be many. Why the hell did this film have to begin what cannot be stopped? I imagine more alien invasion films will be made, and also envision most of them sucking as much as this one. "Battle: LA" could have impressed me, but it abandons all logic, emotion, and humanity for explosions and dumb looking robotic aliens. This is one battle that no cinephile should have to fight.
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
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
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.
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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