Finally!! The alien invasion movie I have been waiting for!!! Battle: Los Angeles, starring Aaron Eckhart, Ne-Yo, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Peña, and more, showcases the story of a massive worldwide alien invasion of earth and a solitary platoon of U.S. Marines that are fighting against the extraterrestrial enemies in the concrete jungle of one of the last standing major cities in the world: Los Angeles. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman (whose prior claim to fame would be the two mediocre/bad horror movies Darkness Falls and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning), Battle: Los Angeles will, hopefully, be a great springboard for even more fantastic films from him.
Imagine taking the games Halo and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and the movies Black Hawk Down and Independence Day; putting them into a blender; and mixing them up real well. The resulting mix that would pour into your glass would be Battle: Los Angeles! A very delectable movie for you to drink in! After the horrible and highly disappointing alien film Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles is a film that greatly makes up for it. (See my review for Skyline HERE)
Those, like myself, who have been waiting for an all out urban warfare against aliens, (much like zombie-invasion movies) This Is It! Independence Day, War of the Worlds, Skyline…they all got close, but not quite. Battle: Los Angeles shows a whole different angle of alien invasion and we share in the feelings, feats, and fights of the soldiers who are battling for their city, their country, their world, and their lives.
Director Liebesman does an excellent screen time balancing act between Drama and Action, aliens and humans, and Main plot and side stories, so that enough interest and connection to the film can be maintained. We follow the Marine platoon and go through a very quick character development of the individual soldiers in order to have a sense of attachment to them. While on a mission, somewhat reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan, the platoon gets cornered by the invading aliens and must fight to survive. Surprisingly enough, although not followed through, the side storylines and plots in the film carry a sufficient amount of weight in the film to bring a further sense of realism that most alien movies must fight to achieve. Speaking of realism, the special effects in the movie do not disappoint as several wide-angle shots show a battle-ravaged and destroyed Los Angeles. The amount of damage to the entire world is highly believeable.
Battle: Los Angeles presents a ton of great war action and the excitement never ends. The amount of drama in the film is about right…although the different stories, characters, and insignificant side-plots can easily be mixed up or seem unnecessary. Aaron Eckhart’s character, SSGT Nantz, and his struggle with his own self and his team was the second battle in Los Angeles that we follow. While it seems that Liebesman decided to focus on several different little characters’ stories and try to tie them all together, the film would have benefited from strengthening SSGT Nantz’s story a bit more. For so much originality in the design and story of the aliens and their technology, the rest of the story ended up too cliché. I had hoped for more originality in the side stories as much as in the action and alien technology, but given the choice between the two, I’d go the same route as Liebesman did. The film is enjoyable and nail-biting nonetheless!
So, Battle: Los Angeles……Great action, excitement, angst, and explosions. Overall, not a disappointment at all! You will be sitting on the edge of your seat the entire time! Some of it is cliché, some of it is predictable, and some of it is unoriginal, but through it all, director Liebesman and crew take us on an amazing ride in a Battle for Los Angeles! To the action-junkie, war movie-lover, and alien-invasion freaks, Go see it! NOW!!
Thanks for reading!
Enjoy if you wish…or don’t enjoy! Happy Watching!
–TheSp1der’s Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars for “Battle: Los Angeles”