11.28.2011

BATTLE LOS ANGELES (2011) Review


Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan

I know this film was released early this year, but I never got a chance to see it until now. I went into it hoping for something along the lines of Independence Day but unfortunately what I got was far from it.

A Marine Staff Sergeant (Eckhart) who has just had his retirement approved goes back into the line of duty in order to assist a 2nd Lieutenant and his platoon as they fight to reclaim the city of Los Angeles from alien invaders.
The unit are sent to a police station to rescue a group of civilians. They arrive and find two adults and three children. Their next objective is to get them to safety. Unfortunately the aliens aren't letting them get away that easily. The aliens call in air support and that's when the shit really hits the fan. So now the Marines need to destroy the alien command centre in order to disable the flying drones.

I really don't even know why this movie was made honestly. There is absolutely nothing original here, it's just a bunch of tired war movie clich├ęs stitched together to make up a weak storyline. I have the feeling that the filmmakers concentrated too much on the FX and then realised at the last minute that "hey, we should probably have some kind of storyline to go with this".
And the fact that the Marines are fighting against aliens doesn't even really factor in. They might as well be fighting against an invading human army, it would have made no difference. Actually,that may have even made the movie better.
BATTLE LOS ANGELES did give me one big surprise though. You may know that I'm not exactly a fan of CGI, especially when there is a lot of it. Well there is a lot of it in this movie, but for some strange reason it didn't bother me at all. And that's a good thing. If somebody can cram that much CGI into a movie without it looking horrible and distracting then I have to say they've done a good job.

As for the acting it was all pretty decent, but I can't say the same for the casting. Aaron Eckhart as a Marine Sergeant fighting aliens and kicking ass? That just wasn't very convincing to me. He has nothing on Will Smith. And the character development is weak, I honestly didn't care for any of them. No matter who died, I just found myself not giving a single fuck.
I found the beginning of the movie to be a bit slow paced and boring, but when the action kicks in it all moves along smoothly. It even becomes a little tense towards the end when they face off against the huge alien command centre. But it all ends predictably and just didn't feel that satisfying.

I came away from BATTLE LOS ANGELES feeling like I'd just seen a 2 hour long recruitment ad for the Marines rather than an action/sci-fi film. If you're a fan of action/war movies then you may just enjoy this, but otherwise seeing this movie isn't going to be high on your to-do list. You could do worse but you could also do a lot better.





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