Battle Los Angeles

Posted by ron On March - 28 - 2011


Epic opening to Battle Los Angeles engages the eye but fails to give you much more than a swig of what it could truly be.

Battle Los Angeles was the equivalent of going to a fast food chain expecting a heavy meaty grease saturated guilty pleasure and coming away shockingly unsatisfied despite lowered expectations. Perhaps the reason why it was so unsatisfactory was due to millions spent in marketing the CGI and interviews that promised character depth but neither was delivered.

As the arch typical staff sergeant with a sketchy war record, Aaron Eckhart was supposed to convince us of this gritty battle hardened non-compromising rough neck. Instead the material delivered nothing that would suggest this guy was unhinged and untrustworthy after saving two marines at the get go. Without getting too far ahead none of these characters suggested they were capable marines let alone belong in the military. The unit more closely resembled college kids playing lazer tag for the first time. Stop this review if you’ve heard of the lippy soldier, the soldier married with a kid, the soldier trying to get married and the soldier whose family member died with an ax to grind. Maybe that’s why Michelle Rodriguez who played the communications officer was the best shot of the bunch. Maybe she had a career change moment kind of like one has in college when you suddenly realize its not worth pursuing something if you don’t get something out of it.

The most successful war films don’t try to make it about different personalities meshing at a job. Instead they focus on the inner and outer conflict itself. The quintessential problem with Battle Los Angeles was the lack of conflict. Its focused on filling a quota en route to an objective. Therefore the stakes were never raised.

If you’re wondering why I keep emphasizing the characterizations, the CGI is already spoken for if you saw the trailer. The aliens are so out of focus that no one can remember what they look like. To coin a phrase, out of sight is out of mind. A film where its audience can barely remember what the aliens look like makes you wonder, why bother with aliens? One theory, any attempt to do a legitimate Red Dawn with nation du jour would risk offending paying customers in the international box office.

Battle Los Angeles was the equivalent of Invasion USA meets Independance Day except more time was spent hiding in bombed out areas of a Hollywood set than delivering the actual battle.

By the time, the tired plot reached the aliens’ objective it made even less sense why the aliens would choose LA especially if you understand some of the water shortages and fires over the recent years.

If I had to give Battle LA a drink rating, I’d have to give it a day old open bottle of sparkling water. Flat without any of the bubbly personality that violent video game porn should deliver on the big screen. Never thought I would live to say this but where is Michael Bay?

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