Battle: LA (Johnathan Liebesman) 2011

The main plot for Battle: Los Angeles is quite simply aliens invade Earth. There is no mystery or attempts at peaceful contact; just land and kill everything that moves. The military plans to bomb the portion of LA where the aliens have established a beach head. They send in a group of marines to assist in evacuating the last stragglers at a police station before the bombing commences.

I have heard reviews refer to this movie as either Call of Duty with aliens or Black Hawk Down with aliens and frankly those comparisons work rather well. Battle tries to dispense with what little plot is necessary to get the movie going before shoving you into non-stop action. In fact, this review will be rather short in that it all depends on what you are expecting this movie to be. Don’t expect to be blown away by anything from the story or the characters. Think of all the cliches from all the war movies you have ever seen and the stereotypical characters and you have everything you need to know about Battle: LA. The characters are so stock I kept thinking of Hot Shots where all the characters are referred to their cliché like “Dead Meat” and “Wash Out” You will roll your eyes for sure at the hammy dialog and some of the silly character traits.

If on the other hand you are just expecting an action movie, then I don’t think this movie will disappoint. You don’t have to suffer the bad scripting as it is the bare minimum to get from one action scene to another. The aliens are interesting in that they are a scary fighting force and not some of the stock aliens you get from other invasion movies. The writers do well not to make the audience too familiar with what they do so even by the end of the film you are left guessing as to their true capabilities. The action is varied with different enemies (this movie had me thinking so much of a game at some points I was saying “boss battle” during some set ups) and different objectives for the heroes. The action never felt stale for me.

I would talk about the acting but like I said there really isn’t much to say. Most of the characters are so stock and interchangeable that you are going to have a hard time keeping track of them. The only person that comes close to a main character is Aaron Eckhart’s character. To the man’s credit he does a great job delivering some of the cheesiest lines in the whole movie and almost making it sound good. He really tries selling this movie to us and overall he does a great job.

I went with a group of coworkers/friends and we all had about the same opinion on this film. This is not a film that will redefine the genre or any of that crap. We came in for a fun action movie about marines kicking alien ass and we got what we wanted. In the early months of the year when most studios are dumping their crap, this was a better movie than it ever had any right to be.

 

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