Thursday, March 17, 2011


Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

Aaron Eckhart - SSgt. Michael Nantz
Michelle Rodriguez - TSgt. Elena Santos
Bridget Moynahan - Michele

     A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles.

       I love alien invasion movies. Well, let me rephrase that, I love the idea of alien invasion movies. It's just that most don't live up to what they promise. A good example of this is ID4. Amazing first hour, then it just fizzles and shits on the audience. Same can be said for last years Skyline. I know it's sad, but it's true. How hard can it be to make at least a decent alien invasion movie? Well here comes Battle: Los Angeles promising us action and aliens trying to take over our planet. So what did I think of it?

     I'm so happy the cast actually believed in what they were making as without that this movie would have fallen flat. Aaron Eckhart is an overlooked actor who is just plain fun to watch as SSgt. Nantz. At one point in the movie he could have just acted all sweet toward a kid, but instead he stayed true to his character only softening up a tad. The man just owned this movie from the start to end. Michelle Rodriguez, on the other hand, could have been used a bit better though. She was brought in and then just became one of the regular soldiers after the Marines teased her about her training and knowledge.It should be noted that the movie wasn't really character driven. You're shown quickly what each one of the main characters are like outside of his military life and then that's it for a back story. The one really useless character in the story was Bridget Moynahan's Michele who also gave the worst line in the whole movie. You'll know the line when you watch the movie. (Though it was JeNee's favorite line)

     Unlike a lot of war movies this one tries to forgo the exposition of war room meetings and place the viewer in the action as soon as possible. While the movie doesn't do anything to reinvent the war film, it does what is known very well. It also manages to hit most cliches also that come with the territory. While the movie could have done without some of the handheld shaky cam shots which made it hard to keep with the action, thankfully though they didn't last long. While there were of plenty of CG shots in the movie, Jonathan Liebesman decided to go with more practical effects whenever possible, except at the end where it would have been nearly impossible to do without CG. This brought a level of reality to the movie, as well as the bio-mechanical alien design, which makes a certain degree of sense as if your race is a traveling colonization force with advanced technology.

     I went into the movie thinking it would be a invasion movie and I got a kick ass war movie with aliens instead. The action was intense throughout most of the movie with enough space to take a breath before the next action sequence upped the stakes for our characters. While there was some cheesy dialogue sprinkled throughout the movie, with one groan inducing one, they were quickly forgotten for what was going on up on the screen as it made the audience I was in, which was filled with spring breakers, shut up for two hours. This is what a "B" movie should be and it's the best action movie with aliens I've seen since District 9 two years ago.

     Vehicular homicide by way of plasma blast.

    That was some serious John Wayne shit.

     Almost the whole movie was shot in Louisiana due to tax breaks.

     Legal action was contemplated by Sony Pictures when it found out that the Brothers Strause were working on their own film, Skyline (my review for Skyline is here) ,while working on the special effects for Battle: Los Angeles.

    The film is inspired by the real life incident known as the Battle of Los Angeles, during World War II. On the night of 24-25 February 1942, unidentified aircraft were allegedly spotted in the airspace above Los Angeles.

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